The butterfly is a powerful symbol of re-birth and renewal. One day last spring an incredible mass migration of painted lady butterflies moved north through Southern California. This otherworldly sight of constant, fast moving butterflies inspired me to carve this ring. To me, these butterflies became the ultimate symbol of strength as they sped through the air for hundreds of miles on their journey.
The story of the Chickasaw Hatchet Women served to inspire the many generations that followed them. As a contemporary Chickasaw artist I look to our history to guide me. This ring, with it’s subtle sun disk detailing, is designed to balance and focus the wearer in order to follow their chosen direction.
The elaborate scrolling design is inspired by the plaster detailing found in the lobbies of many downtown Los Angeles buildings built during the 1920s. Living and working among these architectural gems is a constant source of inspiration.
It is thought that boat stones were used in the ancient southeast as a spear weight or for ceremonial purposes. They were perfectly carved out of a variety of stones and polished to a high gleam. The side of this timeless shape is carved with a symbolic feather pattern inspired by ancient shell carvings.
The hand carved ring is detailed with an intricate sunburst pattern inspired by an ancient southeastern carved shell gorget. The sun disk pattern was also used in other southeastern carved shell pieces to depict the feathered wings of southeastern sky dieties.