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Friday Feature: Sun’s Fire, Blues of Sky and Storm

Mark Swazo Hinds Orange Alabaster Bear Sculpture

We await the rain, but this seems to be much more a day of fire.

At dawn, a thin haze embraced us on all sides, just enough to blur the peaks and subdue, every so slightly, the golden glow of the sun. Now, this afternoon, small twinned plumes of blue-gray smoke rise toward the southwest, driven northwest on an east wind ahead of the storm. From our vantage point, it’s impossible to tell whether someone is merely burning trash or has lost control of a small fire in the fields, but something not far off is clearly aflame.

The rains have been circling around us of late, but today would be a good time for them to come through.

Thunderheads and smoke notwithstanding, the sun shines brilliantly: silver, gold, copper, amber. Our small world here is awash in color and light, the sort of intensity that seems both ethereal and ephemeral simultaneously, as though it cannot quite belong to this world and will vanish if we so much as blink.

In other words, it’s a day perfectly suited to today’s featured work, a medicine spirit the color of the sun’s fire, carrying a bundle adorned with the blues of sky and storm. From its description in the Other Artists:  Sculpture gallery here on the site:

This alabaster medicine bear by master carver Mark Swazo-Hinds (Tesuque Pueblo) is hewn in the classic vintage Southwest Indian style.  The surface is smooth, silky, and touchable, in a brilliant clear orange with a translucent white marbled matrix. In Mark’s trademark style, the medicine bundle is made of macaw and turkey feathers, shells, pottery sherds, and bits of turquoise.

Orange alabaster; turkey feathers; macaw feathers; pottery sherds; turquoise; shells
$425 + shipping, handling, and insurance
Requires special handling; extra shipping charges apply

Of all of Mark’s works that we have carried over the years, this one has always been my favorite. It’s the stone itself, from which Bear emerges: all amber fire webbed with icy white, matrixed just enough to call and cast the light through its very form. It reflects, refracts, captures and holds and then releases the flaming shades of the sun beneath the fire and water hues of its medicine bundle, a collection of offerings that are burden and blessing simultaneously.

And now, for the moment, Father Sun has ceded the sky to the clouds, the blues moving directly overhead, the air scented with rain. Perhaps Bear has brought us his medicine after all.

~ Aji




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