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"Mask Maker" by Theodore Morris
"Mask Maker"
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Inspired by Work of Artist Theodore Morris -- Ted Morris created the colors for the masks from books written by Marion Spjut Gilliland, ie. Calusa Indians of Florida, in which the colors of the masks from the expedition were described.

Naples resident Peter Sottong says that his interest in Calusa Indian culture comes from appreciation for the fine workmanship evident in the Key Marco Cata half-human, half-panther figure carved in native buttonwood using shark teeth and shell scrapers.

Having dedicated many years to carving full-sized waterfowl figures, I was immediately struck by the sophisticated technical and artistic skills evident in the Cat.”

Artist Headline 1
Smithsonian Institution archivists granted special access to Bill Perdichizzi, a director of the Marco Island Historical Society, and his wife Betsy. They made unpublished photographs of the Key Marco Cat available to Peter in 2007.

The photos, along with the history of the lost Calusa culture and the paintings of Theodore Morris, inspired Peter to carve accurate replicas of the Key Marco Cat and several tribal masks.

Through “trial and error – and more error”, Peter developed a production process that allows him to create historically accurate reproductions:

  • A latex mold is carefully crafted from the hand-carved piece
  • Next, a durable, hand-cast replica is made from a mix of plaster and additives
  • Finally, the piece is treated with a proprietary paint-stain combination to reproduce the original finish

Sottong painting Calusa mask replica

History 3
Peter’s authentic reproductions of the Key Marco Cat and Calusa tribal masks have been displayed at several locations:

 

Professional Affiliations

Marco Island Art Federation
Marco Island Art League
Naples Art Association
Naples Artcrafters - Past Treasurer
Goodland Art Alliance - Board of Directors

Peter's larger body of work includes award-winning pieces and Naples Metal Art, his latest sculptures of egrets, ibis, snook and other local fauna. For more information about these pieces, please visit naplesmetalart.com.


* "Mask Maker" image at top of page used with the permission of Florida artist Theodore Morris. See more of his work at floridalosttribes.com.

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Copyright 2015 Peter Sottong, All Rights Reserved • pete@keymarcocat.com

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