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The Gnarly Root, Part 2

OK guys, here is where I am at with my progress. I am moving along pretty well and have almost 70% of the Katsinam I want to include on the piece. As it has been, elements in my design continue to evolve as I place different spirits in different locations, and I am loving how the piece continues to tell me where they want to be, or what to include. I have two more days to go before my presentation at the School For Advance Research, then after that, only two weeks left on my residency. I am already going through withdrawals realizing that this experience is coming to an end, and reflecting on everything I've experienced as I prepare the powerpoint presentation doesn't help. Let's start with the tools I use.

I start with the Foredom (to the left) to rough out the carving, then go to the gouges (right of photo, and an Xacto knife to get the details carved in. After that, sanding, sanding, and sanding (3 grits) then I woodburn the details in, followed up with one more sanding. I'll share the painting process when at that point. The next two images are how I support the root while I am doing this process.

I learned the sandbag trick while doing a residency at the

Institute of American Indian Art, and discovered that I needed more sandbags in order to stand this unusual piece in many configurations. So I made a few more while here.

Here's the front of the piece. It's filled with female Katsinam, of which I have a few more to add on. The larger uncarved area on the bottom right is reserved for all the wildlife creatures where there will also be my trademark flowers and vines. Sorry about the sharpness. I am getting another series of photos together for a Powerpoint presentation on Thursday, and need to focus on that. Okay, now for some closer images of the piece. Starting with the upper level from different angles...

Now for the middle area...

The uncarved areas in the middle area are for the wildlife Katsinam on the front part of the sculpture, and that will include some of my hallmark flowers and vines as if the animals are living amongst the Hopi people and village. Then, the area below the Sunface Katsina will be reliefs of the romantic side of Hopi gathering wood, coal, and planting crops. So far, I have just carved the front part along the bottom of the piece, and that was influenced by Kevin Pourier, a phenomenal artist within his own rights who gave a presentation here recently, and he had a profound observation that I should have considered. Behind every ceremony or activity in life, the people working in the background are the strongest supporters performing the real jobs of making things happen. Since I have men on the back, and the front is all about the females, I must include the Women of Hopi with the female Katsinam on the front. Tonight I am working on the details of this section. Thanks!


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