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Feather Fetish #2

1985 Ken Shores Born: Lebanon, Oregon 1928 Died: Portland, Oregon 2014 stoneware with gold luster and black parakeet feathers 6 1/2 x 11 1/8 x 10 7/8 in. (16.5 x 28.2 x 27.6 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Richard T. Evans Fund 2001.2 Not currently on view


Luce Center Quote

"It really all began with an interest in contrasting textures." The artist, quoted in Patricia Failing, "Ken Shores: Themes from a Life," American Craft, June/July 2008

Luce Center Label

Feather Fetish #2 is part of a series Ken Shores started in 1968 after a trip to Peru. The combination of clay and feathers recalls fetish objects that feature in many religions worldwide. These objects are man-made items created from natural materials like stone or ivory and are believed to hold supernatural powers. Shores often encased his fetish objects in small, glass vitrines, which emphasize the preciousness of the object by limiting our access to it. Here, the ceramic form both protects and reveals a cluster of delicate parakeet feathers at the center. In many native cultures, feathers are regarded as valuable and beautiful, a fact Shores reinforces by adding gold luster to the clay.

Keywords

Abstract

Object - other - feather

decorative arts - ceramic

Crafts - Clay

About Ken Shores

Born: Lebanon, Oregon 1928 Died: Portland, Oregon 2014