Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Armadillo Pendants

Here are a couple of different etched oxidized copper pendants that I've made, both with an armadillo motif. Nine-banded Armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) are pretty common in Oklahoma and I see them frequently. Armadillos are fascinating for a lot of different reasons - for example, they are the only known mammmal to always give birth to four identical young (which develop from the same egg and share a placenta). A female armadillo can also delay fertilization for up to two years. Everyone knows that armadillos are great diggers but they're also great swimmers and can jump straight up in the air nearly four feet as a defensive mechanism (which is also why they end up being hit by cars so often, as they tend to jump rather than stay put when a vehicle passes over them). The Nine-banded Armadillo has relatively recently colonized the U.S., not crossing the Rio Grande until the turn of the century, but is now one of our most common mammals in Oklahoma. Contrary to popular belief the Nine-banded Armadillo cannot wrap itself into a ball in its shell. Of the several different armadillos found in the Americas (family Dasypodidae), there is only one genera that can truly perform this trick - the Three-banded Armadillos of South America.

This is the first of two armadillo themed pendants I made. I call it "Rustic Armadillo". This is an etched and oxidized copper pendant 1½ x 2 1/8’’(4.5 x 6 cm) with armadillo motif on 36-inch vinyl cord with adjustable Love Knots terminal and S-clasp bails.

Here's the other pendant, which I call "Tribal Armadillo", an etched and oxidized copper pendant (1 1/2" x 2") with tribal armadillo motif on 18-inch leather thong with pounded copper S-clasp.

Here's a couple pictures of nine-banded armadillos, and a picture of me trying to chase one through the brush!

And here's a Three-banded Armadillo.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Horned Lizard Pendant

This is another interesting wildlife-themed design for a copper pendant that I came up with - a Horned Lizard or "Horny Toad" pendant. This one was inspired by actual experiences that I have had doing field research in western Oklahoma. I have come across Horned Lizards many times doing that work.

Here are some pictures of the pendant which is an etched and oxidized rectangular copper pendant 2 x 1 5/8” (5 x 4.5 cm) on a 36-inch vinyl cord with adjustable Love Knots terminal and cooper wire bail. The actual size of the Horned Lizard on this pendant is about the size that they are about a month after hatching.

And here are some actual pictures of Texas Horned Lizards (Phrynosoma cornutum) that I have taken over the years doing research. One of them is of a Horned Lizard posed on a Cheez-its box and another shows one outfitted with a radio transmitter collar.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Heron Earrings

Another bird-inspired metalwork design - these are etched copper earrings featuring a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias). These birds may be common but they are still beatufiul and make an interesting design. I depicted this bird standing in front of some cat-tails at the water's edge.

Here's a picture of a real Great Blue Heron: