Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The original carving that inspired me is currently in the collections of Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. and was once part of the Heye Foundation collection. The original was carved from an applewood knot by Chief Siacus of the lower Housatonic River, (Western Connecticut). It was collected in 1740 and stands about 3.25" tall.
I made this cup for my wife in tribute to our mutual love for coffee. I carved it from a Big Leaf Maple burl, it stands about 3.25" tall, (as measured to the rim). The cup and handle are carved from one solid piece, not applied separately. I no longer carve Woodland style objects from Big Leaf Maple as this species of burl is indigenous only to the Pacific West Coast of North America. At the time I made this, I thought "maple burl was maple burl" but once I trained my eye to identify the various species of burl I realized that there were identifiable differences in the visual qualities between maple species. Someday, I would like to render another of these from an applewood knot...a green one preferably.
Part of the purpose of this blog is to help me be more diligent in documenting my work and archiving details surrounding my inspirations. I've long thought, "oh, I'll remember this", only to wonder a few years later, "humm...where did this come from?" A few years ago I was leafing through a book (title forgotten) and saw a photo of 3 very similar style cups that were Indian made during the 1930's. They were a collection of work sponsored by the WPA or one of the other Recovery Era acts created to help support the arts and artists during the hard times. If anyone knows the title of this book or knows more details about this work program that sponsored Native crafts during the 1930's, please post details in the comment box. It would be much appreciated.