Saturday, June 12, 2010

James Blake Roach Spreader

This Roach spreader is based from a original housed in The British Museum. It's Provenance is reportedly Omaha early 19Th century? I've had a fascination with the Ivory Billed Woodpecker and this is my second piece incorporating The Ivory Billed Woodpecker. Bills of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker were used as decorations by American Indians and there was a thriving trade of these bills existed across much of North America.

Native Americans seemed to view the bills as a Totem of successful Warfare. Ivory billed Woodpeckers are thought to be extinct, but as of the last few yrs there is some new and compelling evidence that some might be surviving in the Swampy Forest of the Cache River National Wildlife refuge in Arkansas. Since having a original of one of these is Rare I had to make the imitation Bird Scalp, I used a pheasant scalp and cut and shaped the scalp then dyed and painted it to simulate a Ivory billed scalp then attached it to the Imitation bone beak using Hide glue.

Copy and photos supplied by James Blake.


  1. Excellent photos and discription!

    You might want to include a bit about what a roach speader is for those not aware what it is they are looking at...perhaps a photo of one being worn.