Friday, November 30, 2012

Decorative, relief carved ceramic wind man

15 x 73/4 relief carved ceramic wind man tile or wall plaque.
For many civilizations both past and present wind is not only a powerful and mysterious force of nature, but is also an important force behind many spiritual beliefs. The wind is celebrated as one of the five great elements in Buddhists teachings and viewed as the nature or state of a god. In early Japanese culture the wind was considered a pure substance of universal power providing a spiritual connection between departed ancestors and the living. Legends of wind gods and spirits are widespread and plentiful in the North American Native tradition and in Greek mythology there were gods who created and ruled the eight wind directions with each direction represented by it's own unique wind deity.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Decorative relief carved and hand painted ceramic swan tile

12x12 relief carved and hand painted ceramic swan tile

 "You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things."
~ Mary Oliver

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Decorative relief carved ceramic marmot tile

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New 8x8 relief carved and hand painted Vancouver Island Marmot tile.
This is the first tile in an endangered species series I'm carving.  $5.00 from each tile sold will be donated to the Vancouver Island Marmot recovery foundation.
One of the rarest mammals in the world,  Vancouver Island Marmots live in colonies on small patches of south and west facing alpine and sub alpine meadows,  hibernating below ground from mid September until late April or early May. The marmots Summer is spent foraging on grasses, herbs and wildflowers. Boulders typically found in these meadows are an important feature of  a marmot habitat providing convenient lookout spots as well as heat sinks to help regulate their body temperature, marmots often spend early mornings and evenings stretched out on them. Nose touching and play boxing are common social behaviors, and when alarmed marmots give piercingly loud whistles. The Vancouver Island marmot has five distinct whistles and trills for different purposes, more than any other marmot species. Once,  relatively small colonies were distributed widely in alpine meadows throughout Vancouver Island and to avoid interbreeding two year olds of both sexes would disperse to other colonies to find a mate. In order for dispersing marmots to find potential mates there must be a healthy community of colonies within range. In the mid 1990's the marmot population began to rapidly decline until by 1998 only 70 were recorded in the wild and with the exception of one lone colony on Mt. Washington they were all located in one small geographic location east of  Nanaimo lakes. With populations being so fragmented, dispersing marmots were unable to find mates. Although still critically endangered, thanks to recent recovery efforts the population has increased from less than 30 in the wild in 2003 to an estimated 320-370 marmots on 28 mountains in 2011.
For more information about the Vancouver Island Marmot and on going recovery efforts please visit