Valley and Mesas Horse Scene Bolo

Cody Hunter


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Cody Hunter is an avid horseman who lives at the mouth of the picturesque Canyon de Chelly. His work has won awards at Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum Indian Market, and the Eiteljorg Museum in Indiana, as well as many dedicated collectors across the country.

A cowboy at heart, Cody creates wonderful designs with horse motifs, as well as landscapes of Navajo country, which he uses in a variety of jewelry pieces. This bolo is a breathtaking example of his ability to sculpt in silver.

On a slightly convex rectangle of silver, he has carved a scene of horses tranquilly grazing among mesas and rock formations. Here and there, a yucca, or other stunted desert plant, appears along with a few blades of grass.

Puffy clouds skid across the distant sky, with a 14-karat gold sun just below. What distinguishes this scene from similar ones, is the remarkable perspective – sense of distance – and superb renderings of the horses and cliffs.

On a two dimensional slab of silver, this true artist has created an extraordinary, three-dimensional effect. The use of textured and smooth areas is also noteworthy.

Through adroit use of these, and polished and darkened surfaces, with differences in scale, he has given us the sensation of looking at a far-distant landscape.

The horse closest to us, at the bottom, is the largest; as the horizon recedes, the other two pairs are each smaller, drawing us into the landscape. We read the cliffs in the distance as towering, high, and far away. The eye is led from front to back by the masterful highlights on the ledges where the horses are feeding.

Glistening, polished silver surrounds this scene, resembling a window frame, and helping in the illusion of depth. Simple cylindrical tips echo the polished silver, and ensure that the central scene is the focus.

Amazing, enthralling, enchanting, wonderful, and all the other admiring adjectives you can think of.  This is a marvelous bolo, that is a bas-relief sculpture at the same time.


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