In September and November 2017, I carved a set of two sculptures in cherry wood, based on an ancient stone sculpture from Ecuador.
Tom & Betty had commissioned me to make a sculpture for them and I thought for some time about doing a sculpture of a bird, since they loved birds, particularly owls. One day, browsing through pictures I had taken of pre-Columbian sculptures in a museum in Ecuador in 2013, I came upon my favorite of the collection and started to research it on the Web. Here is the photo I took:
This carving is one of the earliest known sculptures in the Americas, a Valdivian stone carving from Ecuador. Valdivian stone figures are rectangular in shape with delineated eyes and features in characteristic minimalist style.
The Valdivia Culture is one of the oldest settled cultures recorded in the Americas. It emerged from the earlier Las Vegas culture and thrived on the Santa Elena peninsula near the modern-day town of Valdivia, Ecuador, between 3500 BC and 1800 BC.
Here is a collection of other Valdivian stone sculptures:
First, I carved a sculpture based on the Valdivian owl for Tom and Betty:
I liked it so much, I made another one for my own collection: