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
"Mask Maker" *
Peter Sottong says that his interest in culture comes from appreciation for
the fine workmanship evident in the Key Marco
Cat – a
half-human, half-panther figure carved in native buttonwood
using shark teeth and shell scrapers.
many years to carving full-sized waterfowl figures, I
was immediately struck by the
sophisticated technical and artistic skills
evident in the Cat.”
Smithsonian Institution archivists granted special access
to Bill Perdichizzi, a director of the , and his wife
Betsy. They made unpublished
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
developed a production process that allows him to create historically
- 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
Peter’s authentic reproductions of the Key Marco Cat and
Calusa tribal masks have been displayed at several locations:
Marco Island Art Federation
Marco Island Art League
Naples Art Association
Naples Artcrafters - Past Treasurer
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 .
* "Mask Maker" image at top of
page used with the permission of Florida artist Theodore
See more of his work at .