Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Small Male Sea Otter Pin/Pendant (1992)

by


“The design is inspired by Aleut carvings of the sea otter floating on its back, feeding itself. This is a common position for the sea otter in the wild. The diagonal lines down the middle represent the ribs. The etched designs on the ivory are from historic pictographs.”

Denise Wallace

Denise Wallace

Aleut (Chugach)

(1957- )

“The transformative power contained in the ancient stories of Arctic native peoples seems to have reached across the centuries to find expression in the lives and work of Denise and Samuel Wallace. Master jewelers whose pieces depict icons and legends inspired by Old Bering Sea culture, the Wallaces possess an almost mystical ability to wrest continuity from disparate elements — gold and silver, culture and design, desert silver inlaid with fossil ivory, the deep blue of lapis lazuli beside the swirling green of malachite. Even their personal backgrounds and ages make for an unlikely match. Denise, born in 1957, traces her heritage to the Chugach Aleuts of Southeastern Alaska; Sam — she calls him Wally — was born in 1936 in Virginia, and had hillbilly kin living in Hoot Owl Holler.