Friday, November 02, 2007

November Work for Sale

I have been busy getting ready for an art sale tomorrow (Sat.) at the Koniag Native Corp. Annual Shareholder's Meeting. These three small masks, and eight little boxes are all done and ready for Saturday. These masks are inspired by old masks that were collected in 1842 by the Russian ethnographer, Voznesenski. The originals are housed in the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Koniag Bird Man mask: 7" high, 4" wide, cottonwood bark, roots, acrylic paint

Koniag Sandpiper mask: 10" high, 12" wide (including feathers), cottonwood bark, roots, turkey feathers, acrylic paint

Koniag Happy Fellow mask: 9" high, 10" wide; cottonwood bark, roots, copper wire, duck feathers, acrylic paint

Small boxes. These range from 1" diameter to 2.5" diameter, 2.75" high. Each box has a leather closure and hinges, with a glass bead clasp or button. Some are inset with glass seed beads. All but the obelisk (far right, second row) have painted designs inspired by traditional Yupik paintings. I used either a sun or hand symbol for these boxes.

For all of these pieces, I used acrylic paint rather than oil-based stain with a beeswax finish. The colors are more intense, and of course they dry much faster. I usually use the oil-based stain mixed with tung oil, which allows the wood grain to show through, gives the pieces a more subtle aged patina, and hardens and protects the wood.

The last time I had my work for sale at my native corporation annual meeting, the little boxes were very popular. Everyone enjoys being able to own something that bears marks inspired by our ancestors. The Alutiiq people were expert craftsmen. They made beautiful wooden boxes and bowls for food and tool storage, and adorned them with powerful symbols of protection, or to honor the animals that gave themselves to humans for food and clothing.


Anonymous marja-leena said...

Beautiful work, Jackie! Best of luck with the sale, wish I could be there.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Elderberry Studio said...

Marja-leena: thank you! I wish you could be too!

10:19 PM  

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