Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Turtle Dreams

According to the oral stories and traditions of the Great Lakes Woodland Indians, the turtle is a powerful symbol. One legend details how the turtle's back provided a base for the first land that was formed in the midst of the great waters. Mackinac Island takes its name from a word in the Ottawa language meaning "Great Turtle".

Living on Mackinac , turtles are a definite influence on my work and appear frequently. I recently finished a new necklace and accompanying bracelet, "Turtle Dreams 2".

It features a handmade porcelain turtle pendant and some really interesting laminate beads that resemble a turtle shell in shape. I wanted to work looser and more free form on this piece, the turtles resting in the water weeds.

This is the first "Turtle Dreams", a much more structured design featuring a pendant formed from Red Rose Tea Wade figurine.

This is my all time favorite piece, it came out exactly as I envisioned, "Shell Game" or "Shelly" (my special pieces always seem to have nicknames!), a functional, heavily bead embroidered bag in the shape of a turtle.

This is "Jewel of the North", definitely the largest beaded piece I've ever done at 4 foot by 6 foot and covered with thirteen different scenes or icons of the Island. Jewel was part of "Turtles Around Town", which was a fund raiser for the Mackinac Island Community Foundation.

I've plans for more turtles, all just a bit different, all needing to find their own little niche,

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