13"h x 29"l x 6"w; 2006
Photos by Kendrick Moholt
I sculpted my “Bell Mare” in 2006. In 2011, we were having a celebration party for my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. My good friend Chuck Fraser, and his wife Chris came over from Joseph, OR, to attend the event. We were having a beer, and cooking a dead pig, or parts thereof, and Chuck plopped an 8x10 photo down on the picnic table, and said: “Hey, Crawford, what do you think of this?”
It was a photo of a young woman’s chest, her hands pulling back against the neckline of her top, to expose more of her
chest. There, in a full color tattoo, was my “Bell Mare”, reaching almost clear across her body. The woman’s name is Emma, whom Chuck had come across her at a blacksmith conference on Mt. Hood. She had overheard a conversation that led her to believe Chuck might know me, due to our mutual ties to Wallowa County. I met Emma sometime later. It came out that she was quite concerned as to copyright infringement. I assured her that, despite her fears, I was content to lend her the image. I felt honored that someone would find something that I had made, so compelling as to have it tattooed on her body, to wear every day for the rest of her life. I only hope she never regrets it. And it beats a billboard all to hell!