Tchin (pronounced 'chin) is a nationally known, multi-award winning, multitalented Blackfoot/Narragansett artist. He was born in Norfolk, Virginia and lived in rural Virginia and Rhode Island where he received his early schooling. He attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. He is an accomplished metalsmith, author, flutemaker, educator, lecturer, folklorist, musician, entertainer and clothes maker; and a great father to his four beautiful daughters.
Tchin has been producing beautiful works of art for over 30 years. Every piece is hand crafted by the artist himself. His pieces are renowned for their stylized, contemporary design — unique among his peers.
Arrow Points. To make these pendants Tchin has collected genuine arrow points (each at least 1,000 years old) and set them in sterling silver, replicating the traditional wrapping technique used long ago.
Parfleche Necklace. Parfleche is a French word meaning rawhide. Native American women did much of the artwork on parfleche objects such as containers, teepee linings, clothing and personal bags. Tchin is greatly influenced by women's creativity as he feels their designs are in tune with the universe.
Medicine Stones. This piece has seven elements: six feathers and a center stone, which hangs on a heavy silver snake chain. The silver feathers represent those of an eagle. The high flight of the eagle carries our prayers to the creator. The seven parts of the design represent the seven directions: North, South, East, West the Zenith, the Nadir and the center.
Teepee Pin. This piece replicates the design and form of a teepee cover laid out flat. The design is achieved by piercing the intricate patterns in metal and soldering it onto another layer of silver. This technique is called overlay.
The Wedding Gift. This design is also inspired from a teepee cover painting. The Northern Plains horses represent wealth. A young man wishing to ask for a young lady's hand in marriage would go on a horse raid and gather horses to present as a wedding gift to her family to prove his bravery and ability to support a family.
Turtle Island. The inspiration for this piece comes from a traditional, all purpose stone tool that has a wide range of uses from falling a tree and grinding food to defending oneself - a tool for survival. Known by many different names, such as 'berry smasher', Tchin's creative interpretation is made of sterling silver and common stones decorated with silver feathers and a turtle which represents strength, wisdom and longevity.
Braided Leather Bolo. Tchin's
bolos are designed with ancient eastern woodlands motifs or sacred
animals. Each bolo Tchin has created are pierced, cut out, overlaid
with three layers of silver and holds a mounted stone. The animal
design symbolizes the power of each animal and the ability of the
wearer to receive help from the animals spirit.