Owen Walker, Master Goldsmith, Carves New Tribute to Old Masters

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"Tribute to the Old Masters" are available at the Seattle Gift Show, January 27th thru 30th.

Owen Walker, silver carver in the classic Northwest Indian style, announces "Tribute to the Old Masters, a new series of hand carved Sterling Silver bracelets. "

Tribute to the Old Masters are available at the Seattle Gift Show, January 27th thru 30th. These bracelets are "created by Owen Walker as a tribute to Northwest Coast Indian Art." Owen's passion for this art form was originally ignited by a Charles Edenshaw Eagle bracelet in 1972.

These are the old style of bracelets that completely encircles the wrist then clasps, but have no hinge. Each series begins with a reproduction of an old style bracelet carved by one of the now deceased Old Masters of Northwest Indian art such as Charles Edenshaw, Tom Price, or other master carvers. Owen then carves his own versions of those designs and adds his signature touches such as inlaid Abalone shell. The first of these new bracelets will be on display at the Seattle Gift Show, January 27th through the 30th, 2007, with Ivory Jack. In February they may be seen and purchased at the Stonington Gallery in Seattle's Pioneer Square and later in the year at Crazy Wolf Gallery in Ketchikan, AK and various other galleries in Alaska and Washington.

This style of bracelet was made in the 1800's and early 1900's by Haida, Tlinget, Tsimshian, and Kwakwakewak carvers, but the style died out as it is more difficult to manufacture than a standard cuff bracelet. Special care must be taken to curve the bracelet not only around the wrist but also parallel to the arm. This creates a compound curve that provides the spring necessary to keep the bracelet from bending and breaking while putting it on and off.

In past times coin silver, gold or copper hand carved bracelets that represented animals, birds and some mythical creatures like the Thunderbird were highly sought after items of personal adornment. They represented family crests, or signified prestige. Today they are often given to mark an important life event like engagement rings or graduation gifts. The vast majority of bracelets that Owen carves are done in Sterling Silver, but he also makes them in 18kt or 22kt yellow or red gold.

About Walker Goldsmiths;

Established in 1973, artists Owen and Janet Walker have mastered all styles of jewelry manufacturing. In recent years they have chosen to concentrate their efforts in the area of their beloved Northwest Coast Art. Owen is a master engraver often teaching at Bellingham Technical College or their own Studio. Janet is a professional graphics illustrator and master wax carver. Together they create a jewelry line called The Potlatch Collection.    

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