Established Northwest Coast Native artist Kelvin Thompson recently created a masculine hand-engraved ring for a client of ours as an homage to the Seattle Seahawks. Considering the Seahawks logo is actually based upon a historical Northwest Coast Native mask that currently resides in Maine's Hudson Museum, it is not a stretch to see this hawk design applied to a piece of jewellery.
Kelvin created this bold ring by first hand-engraving and cutting out the head of the figure. The head of the seahawk was then soldered onto the sterling silver band. Then, the band was painstakingly stippled, the texture perhaps an allusion to the cheering of the 12th Man. As the final touch, a faceted iolite stone was bead-set in the eye of the bird. This stone is a dark blue colour; a reference to the Seattle Seahawks logo and team colours.
Kelvin carves jewellery in silver and gold, but also creates bowls and masks from alder, maple and cedar. In 1979, he studied under and worked with Barry and Derek Wilson at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, and in 1980 carved a totem pole with Henry Robinson for the Friendship Centre. He has been adopted into Henry's Haisla family. From oxidizing to intricate cut-out work, Kelvin is always experimenting and trying new things with his jewellery. In addition, he has taught many artists how to carve in silver and gold, and he is passionate about passing skills and information on to younger carvers. From September, 2007 to February, 2008 Kelvin aided Kwakwaka’wakw/Haida artist Dan Wallace in teaching the first annual Northwest Coast Jewellery Arts Program, which was held at Vancouver’s Native Education College. In 2009, Kelvin was commissioned to engrave five cuff bracelets for James Taylor, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Elton John, and Vicki Gabereau for the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation fundraiser 'An Evening with Diana Krall'.