Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sustainability in Art: Temple of the Toad

All living creatures have an inherent right to exist.

 Human beings must become stewards and not lords over the Earth.

-Steve Tieken


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sustainability in Art: Touching the Stone Age Past

Spring and summer rains constantly rearrange the local creeks revealing to the trained eye, 

Sustainable Stones and occasionally, ancient artifacts.

Heavy rains cut into banks leaving behind deposits of
earth and stone

Because ancient man utilized local flint sources for tool
making, we look out for recently exposed flint pieces

This one caught my eye

As I began to expose it, it appeared to be a broken spear point

I gently moved the loose stone away 

Brushing off the sand, it became evident that this was an intact artifact 
Being the first person to touch an object in thousands
of years is an exhilarating and humbling experience

It's hard to believe that something so old could
remain intact in these continually shifting sand bars

This piece is most likely a knife blade
It is made from Burlington chert

Note the beveling and serration on this ancient blade

I always consider these finds gifts from the
ancient artists that created them

Archaeologists date stone tools based on knapping techniques
and materials

This specimen dates to the early Archaic Period
Between 8,000-10,000 years old.

-Steve Tieken

tanner/tieken © 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sustainability in Art: From Find to Finish, Collecting and Cutting Petrified Ice Age Animal Bone

Spring rains provide new opportunities for unique rock discoveries. 

Recently exposed rock bar

Petrified Ice Age Animal Bone is extremely rare in West Central Illinois.
A small fragment from an ancient unknown species.

Beautifully patinated outer surface of Petrified Bone fragment

Side view with exposed petrified marrow cavity.

It's difficult to determine the age of bone without c14 carbon dating
and identifying the species type is impossible due to it's size.
Patinated bone outer surface.

Achieving a clean cut and polish can sometimes be difficult due to the porous nature of the marrow cavity.

Putting the Cab King through it's paces

I wanted the finished piece to look ancient, paying tribute to the prehistoric people
who lived here on the landscape thousands of years ago.
I chose the traditional tube shape to show off the beautiful grain and patination. 

Reverse side.

-Steve Tieken


Monday, February 16, 2015

Sustainability in Art: Coyote Medicine 2

During our searches for Sustainable Stones we often cross paths with other residents on the landscape, one of which is the coyote. This is a recording of a late night coyote and drum jam in the great outdoors. 


- Steve Tieken

2015 © tanner/tieken

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sustainability in Art: Nature is a Sanctuary

Immersed in nature, a deep understanding of oneself is revealed.

-Steve Tieken


Friday, January 30, 2015

Sustainability in Art: In the Footsteps of the Ancestors

We all walk in the footsteps of our ancestors

What paths will we leave for future generations to follow?

-Steve Tieken

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sustainability in Art: Earth is a Temple

We are all fellow inhabitants of Planet Earth

The Arbor

This 22 foot tall pole pine construction is one of several large installments created on the landscape where we live.

-Steve Tieken
2015 © tanner/tieken

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sustainability in Art: Sticks, Stones and String; Creating with Simple Materials

Mankind's Earliest Art Forms Were Created as Sacred Offerings

Primitive Whitetail Deer Effigy by Steve Tieken

Materials used in construction:
prairie cane cuttings, stone adornment (Sustainable Stones fashioned using a file and sandpaper)
100% cotton string with hand collected and prepared natural dyes (walnut, red ochre, polk-berry)
medicine bundle (red felt and tobacco)

Whitetail Deer Effigy left as sacred offering

Small herd of deer grazing outside our backdoor at sunset.

If you're interested in learning more about the life of Whitetail Deer, you can view the

-Steve Tieken

copyright © 2015 Tanner/Tieken

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Sustainability in Art: Born of the Earth, Creating with Natural Clay and Pigments

From the Earth we were Fashioned
To the Earth we will Return

Due to it's rich clay deposits, West Central Illinois has a long history of ceramic production dating back over three thousand years. The first pottery to appear in the archaeological record was created by the Early Woodland Marion culture around 1,000 BCE.

Naturally exposed laminated clay deposits

Processed clay from above deposit with hand collected
yellow ochre (limonite) and red ochre (hematite) paint pigments

Ceramic Ceremonial Tripod Vessel with Decorated Ceramic Marble Offerings
by Steve Tieken and Wanaree Tanner
Formed with clay collected from above source with hand prepared mineral pigments

"Cosmic Fire Serpent" by Steve Tieken
Ceramic bead necklace created using clay from above source with natural mineral pigments
-Steve Tieken

2015 © tanner/tieken