This Sterling Hand Carved Bear Bracelet is my iconic design #20, I use it as an avatar on the Internet, and it is on Walker Goldsmiths’ business card. This Bracelet design’s origins are lost in the mists of time, which simply means I do not remember what year it was created but, I immediately fell in love with that face and have carved it many many times. I should explain that even when I carve the same basic design many times they are never exactly the same. I am always tweaking the design, adding little details such as a face in an ovoid, improving the shapes of U forms and ovoids or adding double lines a la Charles Edenshaw. I wear this bracelet as does my son and at least two of my sons in law.
If you look carefully at the design you will notice the lack of back feet, that is because the design is actually a sea bear; the creature we now call a sea lion. I stopped calling it a sea bear because the tourists just didn’t “get it” and would actually argue with the gallery that there is no such thing as a sea bear, and if it is supposed to be a sea lion it should be labeled as such. I gave up trying to re-educate the masses and just went to calling it Bear. I’m pretty sure this was the very first bracelet that I inlaid with Abalone Shell, which has become one of my specialties.The Bear Bracelet that I wear has Abalone eyes and the three segments of his hat and his nostrils are all inlaid with 14K red gold, so he can be plain Bear for $700, with inlaid eyes for $750, or completely fanicified for the big potlatch for $900.
Big Bear Bracelet, Design #20 by Owen Walker.