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View Full Version : I used to work in steel and wood too.



sachem allison
02-16-2012, 01:03 AM
I was digging into my computer and found these pictures Of some steel sculptures I did as an apprentice in Santa Fe, NM. We used to do Indian Market every year and sold quite a lot of pieces. I would do anywhere from 75% to 100% of the work from design to fabrication and he would put his name on it, because I was the apprentice. These are all mine, The turtle is at the permanent Art collection at De Anza College in Cupertino, Ca. It may not have my name on it, but I made it. The horses are more or less life size and are in private collections and the kachina also. I had fun in those years traveling every weekend, we did about 40 shows a year from coast to coast
, so as you can imagine we worked our asses off, well I did anyway.

The other thing I used to do is hand carve Native American Weapons, using stone, teeth, bone and fire as tools. Very traditional old school kinda stuff. I only ever kept one piece and that is my first Menominee wooden ball club. I carved it from a root base of an unknown tree I found in the woods. I hardened the root ball and polished it with sand and leather, I carved the octagon handle with beaver teeth and flint and polished and rubbed the whole thing with a mixture of beeswax and bear grease mixed with hand ground and mined red ochre. It has a lot of weight to it and feels like an extension of your hand. You smack someone with it, they don't get up and if they do they ain't ever the same. seriously. Sorry the picture quality ain't that great, I took these a few years ago. The club is much more beautiful in person. I wish I had it with me instead of in storage. It's kinda comforting to hold.

don
02-16-2012, 01:08 AM
Wow. That's tres cool.

Tristan
02-16-2012, 04:31 AM
Next thing we will find out is that your avatar was a pet elephant you trained to climb trees while you were travelling through Africa.

My life needs more variety now. Crap.

ajhuff
02-16-2012, 06:35 AM
Awesome stuff, and I am stressing the AWE! Wow

-AJ

WildBoar
02-16-2012, 09:21 AM
Wow! How many years back was that? My mother has gone out there for the market for ~20 years -- I wonder if she got to see your work in person.

sachem allison
02-16-2012, 11:56 AM
It' been about 15 years now, we used to park with a big trailer full of sculptures off the plaza. My boss was named Elwood Martin Reynolds. He had quite the reputation as a hell raiser and bum in Santa Fe.

sachem allison
02-16-2012, 11:59 AM
Next thing we will find out is that your avatar was a pet elephant you trained to climb trees while you were travelling through Africa.

My life needs more variety now. Crap.
he was hungry and how do you say know to an elephant, they are so cute with those eyes and that enormous man crushing trunk.

DeepCSweede
02-16-2012, 12:08 PM
Son - I think for your next thread you should do a timeline of careers over the years. From the sound of it, you often had several going at the same time - you have definitely lived an interesting life my friend.

sachem allison
02-16-2012, 12:17 PM
usually 2 to 3 jobs in completely different fields simultaneously . soils Engineer, environmental technician, forensic engineer, field paleontologist, sculptor, knife maker, landscape designer, concrete pourer, made semi conductors for motorola, chef, runner:O, jewelry maker, weapons maker, Native American regalia maker, trader of rare and exotic stuff:O, roofer, professional man hunter:spiteful:, and some things I really don't remember after the stroke.:lol2:

sachem allison
02-16-2012, 08:44 PM
he was hungry and how do you say know to an elephant, they are so cute with those eyes and that enormous man crushing trunk. Sorry, I meant she forgive me Sophie!

Crothcipt
02-16-2012, 08:54 PM
for some reason your avatar never shows up. it is just a broken link.:eek:

sachem allison
02-16-2012, 08:56 PM
for some reason your avatar never shows up. it is just a broken link.:eek:

check in my album, Sophie should be there.

sachem allison
02-17-2012, 12:26 AM
I guess not very many people like art. HaHa!

WillC
02-17-2012, 02:27 AM
Really cool Son, I love the horse especially. Was this at Santa Fe ironworks? That name seems to ring a bell.

wenus2
02-17-2012, 02:51 AM
That turtle is some sweet yard art

Mike Davis
02-17-2012, 11:26 AM
Crazy stuff!! Looks amazing. Very nice work

sachem allison
02-17-2012, 12:44 PM
Really cool Son, I love the horse especially. Was this at Santa Fe ironworks? That name seems to ring a bell.

No, at the time I did these we didn't have a gallery, we were fabricating in our garage and then later an industrial park. After, I left he started a place called Iron Serpent gallery in Santa Fe. I worked with him for about two years before I had to actually make a real living.

sachem allison
02-17-2012, 12:44 PM
thanks, guys!

Lucretia
02-17-2012, 03:38 PM
OOOOoooo! Pretty stuff! I particularly like the husband-attitude adjustment tool.

Son, do you also leap tall buildings in a single bound? :wink: If so, we need the photo with you in tights and a cape. What a wealth of experience!

Deckhand
02-17-2012, 03:44 PM
If I stabbed you in the eye with a pointy stick, will your mother give me a cookie?

Is that the stick?

Btw I had seen that in your album before. Very nice art much better than mine. My biggest was a 20 square foot oil painting. Are you part native American? From time to time I look on eBay at Cerrillos Turquoise from the original mine the spaniards took over.

sachem allison
02-17-2012, 05:17 PM
If I stabbed you in the eye with a pointy stick, will your mother give me a cookie?

Is that the stick?

Btw I had seen that in your album before. Very nice art much better than mine. My biggest was a 20 square foot oil painting. Are you part native American? From time to time I look on eBay at Cerrillos Turquoise from the original mine the spaniards took over.
half Menominee from my father and Half vietnamese from mom. Cerillos is one of my favorites. Oddly enough after all these years I don't own anymore turquoise. I need to remedy that.lol

sachem allison
02-17-2012, 05:19 PM
OOOOoooo! Pretty stuff! I particularly like the husband-attitude adjustment tool.

Son, do you also leap tall buildings in a single bound? :wink: If so, we need the photo with you in tights and a cape. What a wealth of experience!
My tights don't fit anymore, ever since I got Dunlop's disease. My belly Dunlopped over my belt.:D My cape is a little shabby these days.

Lucretia
02-18-2012, 12:25 AM
My tights don't fit anymore, ever since I got Dunlop's disease. My belly Dunlopped over my belt.:D My cape is a little shabby these days.

I hear that! Been having a little problem with the superhero costume myself...

4589

sachem allison
02-18-2012, 12:34 AM
exactly!

Lucretia
02-18-2012, 12:51 AM
How was it to do your carving with teeth/bones etc? That piece looks remarkably smooth--was that from the sanding or did the tools give you that fine of a finish?

Deckhand
02-18-2012, 12:57 AM
half Menominee from my father and Half vietnamese from mom. Cerillos is one of my favorites. Oddly enough after all these years I don't own anymore turquoise. I need to remedy that.lol

Too bad you don't get checks every month from the Menominee Casino-Bingo-Hotel. Out here some tribes buy new cars went it's time to change the brake pads. Just let the other car rot in the yard. I live right by a little Saigon good baguette sandwiches and pho soup with lots of chili paste. I like it better than the chicken hot sauce.

sachem allison
02-18-2012, 01:12 AM
Too bad you don't get checks every month from the Menominee Casino-Bingo-Hotel. Out here some tribes buy new cars went it's time to change the brake pads. Just let the other car rot in the yard. I live right by a little Saigon good baguette sandwiches and pho soup with lots of chili paste. I like it better than the chicken hot sauce.
I know the chicken hot sauce guy, he's out of Rosemead. No Menominee checks for me, I do believe from 1954 or so through 1976 or so all Menominee born between those years were not considered Natives, because the government had a policy called termination, by which they decided that the Menominee were no longer Indians and payed them to give up their right and all future claims to mineral, lumber and real estate properties. Now mind you these people couldn't read or write let alone understand lawyer speak. They got cheated, When all the lumber was gone, prime real estate sold and the land polluted and stripped of resources, the government said, oh our bad what we did was unconstitutional you can be indians again. That's why we started the casino, because they wiped us out and we had to eat. Unfortunately I was one of the lost generation born in those years. No roll number, no recognition, no tribal membership, no love and no check. oh well!

sachem allison
02-18-2012, 01:34 AM
How was it to do your carving with teeth/bones etc? That piece looks remarkably smooth--was that from the sanding or did the tools give you that fine of a finish?
try to do as much rough shape while it is still green, I used beaver teeth, which alot of tribes traditionally used as chisels, you can get them as sharp as a steel chisel almost, I mean if a beaver can do it why can't we. Next i take pieces of flint and obsidian and kinda use it like a scraper almost like a draw knife or plane,take off nice thin slivers. You have to go slow and easy not to much pressure or you will cause chipping. The next thing I do is build a nice hot fire and begin to char the outside and scrape the charcoal off and burn and scrape until I get where i need to be. There are two reasons for this A: charcoal is a lot easier to scrape and shape then wood and a lot faster. B: The fire hardens the wood, just like heat treating steel, you can make that wood as hard as iron. After I scrape off the charcoal the wood is pretty smooth. to get it smoother I take a piece of leather and lightly coat it with some pine sap and the finest sand or charcoal and ash I can fine and begin rubbing it until I get the desired smoothness I want. I rinse it off and then I get a mixture of melted bee's wax some bear grease or buffalo grease, really any wild game fat you can find. The bear grease is used for weapons and big medicine stuff, so that's what I use. I rub this in with another piece of leather this time a real soft deerhide. This gives me a nice silky smooth, shiny finish that still has a lot of grip to it. You don't want it too smooth and have it slip out of your hand in battle. I then take it out into a field or the woods and walk through tall grass and leaves and make sure that I get a lot of vegetable matter and juices and stuff on the wood and let it dry there. This is for several reasons, one camouflage, nothing sticks out in the woods like a new piece of worked lumber, two, scent masking, If it smells like vegetation it can't be a predator and three bringing the piece back to where it came from, you violated it and now you need to take it home and make your apologies.
hope this answers your question.

Deckhand
02-18-2012, 02:18 AM
I know the chicken hot sauce guy, he's out of Rosemead. No Menominee checks for me, I do believe from 1954 or so through 1976 or so all Menominee born between those years were not considered Natives, because the government had a policy called termination, by which they decided that the Menominee were no longer Indians and payed them to give up their right and all future claims to mineral, lumber and real estate properties. Now mind you these people couldn't read or write let alone understand lawyer speak. They got cheated, When all the lumber was gone, prime real estate sold and the land polluted and stripped of resources, the government said, oh our bad what we did was unconstitutional you can be indians again. That's why we started the casino, because they wiped us out and we had to eat. Unfortunately I was one of the lost generation born in those years. No roll number, no recognition, no tribal membership, no love and no check. oh well!

That's hilarious you know the chicken sauce guy. He has done very well for himself. I just prefer the flavor of a bunch of chili paste in oil in my Pho,but it's harder to find.
Seemed wild rice was a major staple of Menominee people. I read about that, no reservation during that time frame just lumber business.
Can't believe people during those years weren't reinstated that's messed up.

sachem allison
02-18-2012, 02:21 AM
politics and greed, us government and the official Indian problem, what more can you say

Lucretia
02-20-2012, 10:01 AM
That's amazing, Son. Sounds like something that should be treasured and passed down for generations.

sachem allison
02-20-2012, 07:06 PM
yes, that one I keep, but I am working on one , that I may put up for sale. we will see.