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Native American Weathervane – Brave with Bow

Brave (Indian) with Arrow Weather Vane


For this Indigenous Brave Weather Vane we used copper in combination with optional gold leaf, creating a distinctive contrast between the two metals. We also used brown glass eyes to give the brave a more realistic appearance. This Native American Brave Weather Vane can also be made entirely in copper or using a combination of copper and brass. While the arrow has just been let loose in this design, we incorporated a large chipped ‘stone’ arrowhead and feathered fletching as the wind indicator to reinforce the hunting prowess of the brave.

This particular design lends itself very well to pairing with one of our wild animal weathervanes. Some years ago we did a fun, two vane, project inspired by a sporting football rivalry. The commission was from a wife for her husband, a Stanford University graduate, who was celebrating his 60th birthday. She ordered this Brave Weather Vane (his Stanford mascot at the time he attended school) to celebrate both his birthday and his love of their team.

She, however, was a graduate of Stanford’s arch rival, CAL Berkeley, and therefore was also compelled to order our Grizzly Bear Weather Vane, representing her school mascot. They have a second home at Lake Tahoe (in the Sierra Nevada Mountains) with two side-by-side dormers. On one dormer they installed the Brave Weather Vane and on the other they installed the Grizzly Bear. When the wind blows one direction, man chases bear, but when the wind shifts 180 degrees, Bear chases man. Of course, since the wife came up with the plan, she did make sure that the Grizzly Bear Weather Vane had the advantage of the prevailing winds. Most of the time, when you look up, you see the Cal Bear weathervane chasing the Stanford mascot weathervane!

This sculpture piece is one of our earliest human figures. In preparation for making weather vanes based on the human form, we brought a number of live models into the studio to do figure studies. Over the course of a year we did numerous anatomy studies, modeled in clay, and did lots and lots of drawings. This was very helpful as all our weathervanes are shaped by artisans with rawhide hammers over oak posts, based entirely on hand and eye observations. Much skill is required to hand shape anatomical features such as stomach muscles and cheekbones into flat sheet copper. This is especially true when we are making a medium (two-foot tall) sculpture piece, where the face itself is only about three inches in size.