09 August 2011
Two birds depicted in flint and quartz crystals on figure stone from Flint Ridge, Licking County, Ohio
Two birds depicted in flint and quartz crystals on figure stone from Flint Ridge, Licking County, Ohio. Artifact found and interpreted by Ken Johnston.
This side of the figure stone resembles a standing water bird, with its wing and tail raised away from its body, connoting movement. The bird has a ground crystal eye, and a crystal head. Note how the little sculpture stands upright on a pedestal-like base.
The blue circle in this photo indicates where the crystal was ground down to differentiate that spot visually from the rest of crystal in order to make an eye. The eye is in the perfect spot to depict a standing, long-billed bird in left profile view. As most all art like this, nature offered up the ideal starting form and with some modification this piece of chert was brought to life.
In this position, the same artifact would never be recognized as an art piece worked on a micro-carving scale to depict two separate birds. However, once the birds are recognized, this is a great view of the work to remove stone material to define a bird's beak. The area of grinding to remove quartz material is seen highlighted in blue marking on this photo. Click photos to expand views.
Watch this short video of this beautiful flint and crystal bird sculpture rotating slowly on a display turntable. The video is a little fuzzy but combined with the photos will provide a good sense of what this figure stone is like in three dimensions and how much the crystals catch the sunlight.