Stephen Schwark

From WikiName
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sculptor Stephen Schwark. Stephen Schwark grew up in South Australia and began using scrap metal for sculpture at the age of 17. He has hosted many sold out exhibitions in and outside of Australia.
Metallic Sculptor Stephen Schwark Creates World's Largest Naja for Pickens Museum. Schwark says every sculpture is made from recycled metal and gives the metal a new and permeant purpose in life
Sculptor Stephen Schwark. This current piece is titled Pioneer Woman and inspiration was drawn from Bryant Bakers original bronze Pioneer Woman.
Sculptor Stephen Schwark. Schwark draws his inspiration from the perfection of nature and the surroundings they live in.

Every sculpture is made from recycled metal and gives the metal a new and permeant purpose in life

Stephen Schwark grew up in South Australia and began using scrap metal for sculpture at the age of 17. He has hosted many sold out exhibitions in and outside of Australia.

He draws his inspiration from the perfection of nature and the surroundings they live in.

Every sculpture is made from recycled metal and gives the metal a new and permeant purpose in life

This current piece is titled Pioneer Woman and inspiration was drawn from Bryant Bakers original bronze Pioneer Woman. This sculpture is made up from over 1000 pieces of metal and stands 8.5 feet tall.

Metallic Sculptor Stephen Schwark Creates World's Largest Naja for Pickens Museum

In August, 2018 metallic sculptor Stephen Schwark put up a 20 foot Naja around the sign for Doctor Pickens Museum.

The naja is a crescent-shaped piece that is often worn alone as a pendant or as the center piece of a squash blossom necklace in Southwestern Indian jewelry. The naja design shape is thought to have originated from the Moorish and then borrowed from the Spanish that was used as an ornamental design on horse bridle headstalls and as silver decorations on men’s pants. Some najas will have a center decorative piece or stone that is suspended often to freely dangle. Setting stones in the naja pendant began sometime after 1880. Later, with evolving lapidary techniques, more stones were fashioned on the naja and the squash blossom necklace. The squash blossom and naja began to have lapidary styles of inlay, cluster work and needlepoint stone work.

The inverted crescent pendant on squash-blossom necklaces is found in various design forms throughout the world cultures. During the Middle Ages, the Moors rode out of the East and conquered lands in a westerly direction including eight centuries of occupation in Spain. They adopted the symbol as a bridle ornament, and thought the inverted crescent would protect both themselves and their horses from 'the evil eye'.

Most believe the crescent-shaped pendant was adapted from the iron ornaments which adorned the horse bridles of the Spanish Conquistadors. The arrival of the Spaniards in the southwest United States in the late 1500s and early 1600s brought the Navajo into contact Awith these ornaments, which they collected either through trade or capture. When the Spaniards came to South and Central America, they brought that same idea with them for the protection of their horses and of their soldiers. Thus, the Moors taught the Spanish, who taught the Mexicans, who taught the Navajo their belief systems and metallurgy.

By the 1820's, Southern Plains metalworkers had learned the processes of cutting, stamping and cold hammering. Much of this work was produced in German silver. German silver was a different alloy as compared with the Mexican silver, which was often used by the Navajo. Through contact with either the Spanish and/or the various Plains Tribes, the Navajo adopted the symbol of the inverted crescent for their horses. The Naja was put on the horse headstall, the front center band of the horse bridle, and later, the Naja moved into the realm of necklaces.

The Navajo, it is believed, were the first tribe to adopt the design, but by the early 1900s, the art form had spread to neighboring tribes, including the Zuni and the Pueblo. The word “naja” is the Navajo word for “crescent”. “Naja” is the name the Navajo gave to a symbol believed to have originated in the Middle East in ancient times. Like some many symbols, it was created as a talisman for protection, with the Moors affixing it to their horses’ bridles to ward off the evil eye.

Early on, Navajos’ wore the crescent-shaped naja on a rawhide necklace as an ornament of beauty and these pieces also came to symbolize wealth. If one person had such an ornament, others wanted one —if possible, something even better. In this way, an incredibly array of variations on the the naja evolved. Eventually, najahe or naja, became associated with crop fertility and were worn during ceremonies related to the agricultural cycles. It was customary for Medicine men to wear squash blossom pieces as well.

During the initial stages of Navajo silversmithing, the use of turquoise was not abundant. Very few pieces were made with turquoise. As turquoise became more accessible and as silversmithing technology improved, the Navajo quickly employed the use of turquoise into the design of the necklace. Sometimes with simple one stone designs, others with hundreds of stones into one piece. It is this necklace with the simple one stone for each blossom that became a symbol of the Navajo. This design is what was used on the two-cent postage stamp, released in 2004.

According to the Navajo, the symbol of the Naja represents strength and protection and is held in very high esteem by the Navajo as well as other peoples.

References

About Pickens Museum

Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp by Sculptor John Free. Seeking to attain his tribe's highest war honor by touching his enemy. This action among indigenous peoples is called "Counting Coup".
Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp by Sculptor John Free. “Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp” is a bronze created by Osage Artist John Free. The bronze, eight feet high and twelve feet long) was enlarged to 1-1/4 life size through the efforts of John Free of the Bronze Horse foundry in Pawhuska and Hugh Pickens. Pictured (L-R): Hugh Pickens, Executive Director of Pickens Museum and Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear of the Osage Nation.
Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman by Artist Daniel Pickens. “Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman” is a mural painted by fine artist Daniel Pickens. Daniel was born in Lima, Peru in 1974 and is currently living in Stockholm, Sweden. This mural is at our Ponca City location.
Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman by Artist Daniel Pickens. Our mural "The Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman" is located in City Central at our Ponca City location.
Doctor Pickens Museum of Turquoise Jewelry and Art. Pickens Museum displays art works at NOC Tonkawa campus. Pictured (L-R): Dr. Cheryl Evans, NOC President, Hugh Pickens, Executive Director of Pickens Museum, and Sheri Snyder, NOC Vice President for Development and Community Relations. (photo by John Pickard/Northern Oklahoma College) This art is at our Tonkawa location
Native American Artist Yatika Starr Fields Completes Mural for Pickens Museum.
The World's Largest Naja. Future location of Pickens Museum on Route 60 and "U" Street West of Ponca City
Architectural Renderings of Pickens Museum.
Display of Turquoise Jewelry.
"Red Man" by Native American Artist Fritz Scholder. Pickens Museum Director Hugh Pickens on right.
Native American Jewelry Artist Tonya Rafael with a silver frame she created to honor my wife Sr. S.J. Pickens. My wife and Tonya worked together over the years creating new jewelry art pieces. My wife had an eye for color and would often design a spectacular piece and ask Tonya to execute it for her. A skilled silversmith, Tonya would sometimes stay in our guest house, set up a workshop, and work for days at a time on a Squash Blossom, Bolo, or Bracelet my wife commissioned. The piece is a silver picture frame that Tonya cut out of thick silver plate. Around the edge of the picture frame are 95 small turquoise stones. In the top is a large spiny oyster stone in the shape of a heart. The frame contains a photo that Tonya took of my wife a few years ago. Dr. Pickens is wearing one of her favorite outfits and if you look closely you can see a special squash blossom and necklace that Tonya created for my wife. In the bottom of the frame is an inscription.
Native American Artist Jolene Bird. Jolene Bird is an accomplished artist who learned her craft from her grandfather over 20 years ago. Jolene makes her jewelry in the tradition of the Santo Domingo Pueblo in New Mexico. This is a Fender Stratocaster guitar onto which Jolene has attached pieces of Kingman and Sonoran Turquoise highlighted with Jet. The stars are in Abalone, Mother of Pearl, Pipestone, Yellow Serpentine, and Spiny Oyster. The artistry in this piece is simply breathtaking and has to be seen to be believed. Consider that this is a three dimensional mosaic, a three dimensional jigsaw puzzle if you will. Jolene told me that each individual piece of turquoise had to be cut, shaped, and ground down to fit perfectly with the other pieces. Each individual piece probably took six to eight hours to produce and there are literally hundreds of pieces covering the guitar.
Painting by Peruvian Artist Josue Sanchez. Photo Credit: Hugh Pickens Pickens Museum

Location and Hours of Operation

Artists at Pickens Museum

Articles about Pickens Museum

2021

2020

2019

2018

2015 and before

About Pickens Museum