Ryan "Wisiwma" Gashweseoma
I am a wood worker by trade and use many of the techniques I've learned, to create my pieces. I use many exotic woods such as Paduk, Purple Heart, Ebony, Bubinga to name a few. Each box starts out as a slab of wood in which I measure, cut and assemble myself. The use of a band saw, table saw, router and sanders assist in this process. To piece the boxes together, I use metal hinges and wood glue. Acrylic paints are used for some of the brighter designs you see. The primary material used in my work, is cottonwood root. I utilize woodworker tools such as a rasp, Xacto knives and stainless steel carving knives. All of my carvings are done by hand. For the pigments, I use natural earth pigment paints, some of which I’ve gathered myself out on Hopi. The feather work on my dolls exhibits duck, pheasant, grouse and parrot feathers. In certain dolls, you will see the use of yucca, raw cotton, moss, seashells and abalone as accents. The type of carving I do is considered old style katsina carving. This style describes katsina dolls that use more natural earth pigments while also keeping the pose stationary. This is the style I learned from my uncles and grandfather, while growing up in Hotevilla on Third Mesa.