ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County artist Bobby Merrithew’s two favorite ingredients for his creations are stained glass and chunks of wood he finds lying in his back woods, but lately he’s addicted to combining the two.
In fact, the centerpiece of his display Saturday at the Native American Gathering near Rogersville was a stained glass portrait called “American Warrior Rising out of the Mother Earth” framed in hand-carved poplar.
He’s also been making a lot of symmetrical wall hangings from sculpted wood and stained glass, as well as wood sculptures inlaid with turquoise, and stained glass creations mounted on antique slate that a friend salvaged from a house in Louisiana.
But the real stars of his “show” were the wooden sculptures including busts, clubs, daggers and tomahawks.
Merrithew and his partner, fellow artist Tata Andres, operate Clinch Mountain Gallery in Eidson. If they were looking for a big crowd of potential buyers Saturday, they could have stayed home and set up a booth at the annual 12 Mile Yard Sale.
But, considering that the majority of his creations are inspired by Native American or pioneer imagery, the Native American Gathering was a natural fit.
The Amis Mill Historic Site just south of Rogersville hosted the third annual Native American Gathering featuring dancing, drumming, storytelling and games for children, as well as a variety of handmade crafts and artwork.
Among the items on display were Native American weapons, tools, pottery, candles, jewelry and Merrithew’s wooden sculptures.
For example, Merrithew carved a piece of cedar into a bust of a wolf head; a mountain man with a bird headdress made of maple; and a variety of American Indians wearing headdresses.