Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Crowbonics: The Scroll

detailed view (c) 



by Karen R. Davis (Karoda)

Louisville, Kentucky


40.5 inches x18 inches

whole cloth with laminated sheer.

hand-dyed cotton; medium weight stabilizer; wool batting; Jacquard cotton; rayon , cotton, and metallic threads; polyester sheer; paper, textile medium; fusible web.

After hearing a 2008 NPR segment on the intelligence of Crows, I became captivated by the rich black birds and wanted to rescue them from their oftentimes less than favored status.  My intent to represent the American Crow for this exhibit was further shored up by the sadness of the absence of information on James Audubon’s mother which I surmised was due to her race, class, and gender.  I even went so far as to project Audubon’s love for birds and being in the wilderness as a spiritual restlessness caused by not knowing her.

Crowbonics: The Scroll is the first of what will be 3 pieces depicting the culture of Crows.  The Crows are the marginalized birds with their own values and ways in the world.  Those not privy to them, often see but do not understand. To the Crow, it doesn’t matter; they carry on, surviving and making their presence known through their distinguished song.





There were 5 starts to the Crow piece before this became the one that felt completely right.  It would not have been possible without attending the Paper Lamination workshop at the Crow Barn last month.


I will not have time to photograph the full size until its return, but the detailed image is a good representation of the entire piece.


  1. This looks amazing Karen. Doesn't it feel great to make something that feels "completely right". Congratulations

  2. Thank you Karen...its in the mail and I miss the piece already :)

  3. Keep thinking of you because there is a crow roost right across the road from our new place. The crows are BOLD and often swoop close and low. Yes they are curious about the new humans but, also, I think they enjoy being admired at close range. So far I haven't disappointed their black feathered egos!

  4. oh Acey, just don't offend them in any'll have an enemy for life I think...especially if they are roosting near you. Are they the large ones or smaller ones? I've seen the large ones around here on occassion and I swear a small child could ride :)

  5. They are quite large!  Crow Spirit has been very near and dear to my heart, in the native/cultural archetypal sense, since I was a toddler.  So I am hoping all I have learned & experienced over half a century will help me avoid being an offense or a nuisance to this particular clan. Crows being such merciless creatures where matters of transgression is concerned, I am aware there is no free pass and I have to stay on my toes.  I keep telling the one that's the biggest show-off "I know you were here first ... thank you so much for sharing the territory with us."  Once we are settled in enough for me to have such a thing as down/personal time I am planning to make them some double sided mirrors to hang in a few trees and bigger plants in the garden.  At the old place I also had a special miniaturized crow-centric medicine wheel with
    mostly mirrors instead of rocks.  The central Creator Stone was a glass doorknob.  The nearby crows changed their flyways so they could cruise over it - just for fun it sometimes seemed.

  6. Are they entertained by the mirrors?

  7. like their magpie and raven cousins, anything that sparkles and distorts light holds a strong fascination.

  8. this is stunning and can't wait to see the rest.