When I first started working with clay, creating my own canes and creations expressing that love was one of my first thoughts. I have several canes with fetish bears and bear claws and a wonderful design that I made on a Sunface Kachina that I made years ago and I'll be talking about those pieces and revisiting those ideas in later posts as I further explore this path I'm on, but feel free to follow these links to see my past endeavors: Bear Claw Green, Bear Claw Maroon, Fetish Bear Green, Sunface Kachina necklace, Sunface Kachina Art Tin. In some ways its hard for me to look back at those images from 5-6 years ago since I've grown so much as an artist with the help of the wonderful polymer community. I still have a lot of those canes and it's going to be fun to reuse them with the new ideas running through my head. =)
The first of my new little creations comes as a result of being invited to participate in Sarajane Helm's Mask Swap. This is the first year I've been invited and the first year I'm participating, so I'm very excited and honored. I'm only doing one group of ten because I wanted to make sure I have the time to put the quality into each that I want. I decided to revisit my vision from 5 years ago and make my masks little Kachina faces. Crow Mother is the first mask that I've finished.
Crow Mother - also known as Angwusnasomtaka - is a Hopi Kachina. She is a figure of great dignity, who is known to lead the initiation of the children. In creating mine, I started with a square base with two holes through it. I lined the sides of the base with feathers left from my Owl Cane and the top of the head also has feathers, but these are from my original Sunface Kachina. She has a red and black striped head wrapping and the base has forestry 'pine' look using left over palm fronds from my palm tree cane. Isn't recycling old canes great!
I backed this little mask with black and added a little slice of my new signature cane. As you can see from the photos below - there are holes that go through the top and bottom of each piece. I'll be making other masks and tiles on the same base so that you can string them together as a very fun chunky bracelet or just use the top hole to string the piece as a necklace. I can't wait to see how everything looks together when I get the coordinating bracelet tiles and other kachinas finished! This little guy is my "beta" - eventually I'll be making a numbered set to sell in my shop along with some finished pieces. I got a lot of work ahead of me!