This sculpture is based on a bear claw amulet which was worn to identify the wearer as having spiritual affiliation with the animal. Shamans would utilize multiple claws as crowns which would encircle their heads and would aid them in healing rituals. Bones and claws are often carved with different animal forms, which might refer to a vision or “spirit journey” that an individual (usually a shaman) might have experienced. The image on this piece represents the bear.
Preston was born in San Francisco, California, in 1963. In 1984, he began his studies at the prestigious Pilchuck Glass school in Stanwood, Washington. Today, he remains connected to the school as both a sessional instructor and a board member, while pursing his own very successful career as an artist. Pilchuck has always fostered a milieu open to new ideas that has drawn many of the most promising students, as well as established working glass-artists, to the Pacific Northwest Coast.
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