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Rob Kufrovich

 

Rob Kufrovich

I am a Maine Resident and a self-taught artist inspired by the natural world of rocks and minerals, and Native American culture.  My interest in geology began early in childhood, which I typically spent with my eyes glued to the ground, always looking for that elusive, unique rock, mineral, or fossil.  My innate appreciation for smooth lines, subtle shading, and varied textures found in minerals, grew tremendously while living in Texas and New Mexico, where I experienced a deep connection with the local Native Americans.  

 While working in the uranium mines in New Mexico, I made many friends among the Navajo, Laguna-Acoma, and Zuni people.  My art became influenced by the native practice of allowing the medium to "speak to me" in my heart, to show me how to work a piece, and allow it to manifest its spirit.  This influenced my pen and ink compositions and my wood sculpting.  Several years ago, when my former partner's son was adopted into the Nottoway tribe of eastern Virginia, I began to produce Native regalia worn to local pow-wows here in Maine.  This quickly grew into a passion for creating Native American style beadwork.

Using this “seed bead” embroidery technique to create medallions, I eventually expanded into necklaces, hair barrettes, earrings, etc.  As my medallion technique matured, beads became the perfect expression of my love of nature and traditional Native motifs, which eventuated in a highly personal approach to the traditional Rattlesnake belt.  Along with my present interest in beadwork, I continue drawing and producing wood sculpture.

Working in tandem with nature, I continue to be blessed with a never-ending supply of inspired themes, and the wisdom available to all people with an open mind, heart, and soul.   This is the mantra that shapes my art and my life.

 

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Rattlesnake Belt Tila bead, Leather

Rattlesnake Belt Tila bead, Leather

500.00

Rattlesnake Belt Leather, Tila beads on cotton/leather backing, This beaded piece, albeit Native American in aspect, was actually inspired by the memory of a "grand-daddy" rattlesnake that my father almost stepped on while rock-hunting with me as a young boy. I threw myself at my dad, knocking him to the side, a step away from potential disaster. It happened at White Haven, PA, while looking for quartz crystals in the outcrops of an abandoned railroad cut. I decided to used what are known as "Tila-beads", which are flat, four-sided beads with two parallel holes running through them, for the main body of the piece. I then tried to mimic the more or less diamond shaped pattern of the scales of the rattlesnake. It took nearly an entire month to complete, including backing the entire length (fits 36-39" w). The final product was a surprise, in that when holding the belt, the feel of the beads is very similar to that of actual snakeskin. I was also fortunate to find specialty beads that, when assembled, look eerily like the rattles of a rattlesnake! These features, along with my use of round red tiger eye beads for the eyes, create the desired illusion of a living snake.

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