Monday, October 29, 2018

October Theme Challenge – Petroglyphs

photo by KLindemer of BayMoonDesign

October's Art Elements Host is Karen Totten and the theme is Petroglyphs. These are images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, pecking, carving, and abrading. Petroglyphs are found world-wide, and are often but not always associated with prehistoric peoples. They are one of the three different techniques used in Rock art, the prehistoric precursors to art.  I have always been interested in prehistoric civilizations and enjoy looking at Petroglyphs as an art form in my travels.   One of the first trips my husband and I took in our RV was out west.  One of the magnificent places that we stopped by was Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico.  This challenge reminded me of that trip.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico
Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico
We saw multi-story buildings and engineered roads in the high desert of New Mexico that were built by this ancient culture.  Chaco Culture National Historical Park preserves their legacy. It is one of the most visited prehistoric ruins in the United States, and is also a World Heritage Site for its “universal value.”

Visitors can explore stone ruins from a previous millennium, step through T-shaped doorways, go up and down stairs of multi-story buildings, and look out through windows into the endless desert sky.
Chaco was an important ceremonial, trading and administrative center in a sacred landscape, laid out in a network of roads connecting to the great houses. One theory is pilgrims came to Chaco with offerings, and participated in rituals and ceremonies at auspicious times. It’s unlikely large numbers of people lived here year round, despite hundreds of rooms, which may have been used to store objects.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico
Chaco photo by KLindemer of BayMoonDesign

It might not look like much, as it is unrestored and stone walls crumbling. When you walk on the one mile trail loop around the site, much of the ruins are sitting underneath your feet, covered by desert sands.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico
Chaco photo by KLindemer of BayMoonDesign

The trail through the site goes along the cliffs. This is where you can look for petroglyphs carved in the sandstone. Petroglyphs relate to clan symbols, records of migrations, hunting, and important events. 
Petroglyphs, Chaco Canyon
By Acwassink [CC BY-SA 3.0  (], from Wikimedia Commons

Some of the petroglyphs are carved high up, 15 feet above the ground. Images in the petroglyphs like the one above are birds, spirals, animals, human figures.

polymer clay components by Brooke Bock

 When I thought of petroglyphs and this trip, I thought about the colors of the desert and I was reminded of a component by Brooke Bock.  It looked like petroglyphs and it was beige and brown of the desert.  I also had another of her components in the same colors.  I made a totem of sorts and added some ribbon.  To complete my focal I attached it to a round wire component by Vintaj.   I used some vintage yellow crystal, Czech beads, Vintaj natural brass wire, and chain.  

petroglyphs necklace by BayMoonDesign

I invite you to stop by the other participants and see what they created for this blog hop.

Art Elements Team:
Lesley Watt:
Jenny Davies-Reazor:
Cathy Spivey Mendola:
Sue Kennedy:
Caroline Dewison:
Laney Mead:
Marsha Neal Minutella:
Claire Fabian:

Our Guest Artists:
Jill Egan:
Tammy Adams:
Alison Herrington:
Sarajo Wentling:
Jenny Kyrlach:
Kathy Lindemer: (HERE)


  1. a very interesting read, and your necklace is lovely

  2. I would love to visit Chaco, I love visiting ancient sites. When we went to Turkey - years ago - we visited Dalyan, although you only saw the ancient buildings carved into the cliff face from a boat, I would have loved to gone into the chambers themselves. Your finished piece for this challenge is lovely.

  3. Oh wow Kathy! Thank you for sharing photos from your trip with us on this hop. I love the focal and beads you chose for your design - it is marvelous! :)

  4. Great totem necklace, Kathy! Also, thanks for the info about Chaco - I've never been out West but it's on my bucket list and you've given me ideas!

  5. Lovely necklace! Just right for this challenge. Thank you, too, for sharing such cool pictures of your trip... I really enjoyed seeing how your visit inspired your work of art. :)

  6. What a perfect art Bead for the challenge and you did it justice with the necklace! I especially love your totem design, it adds to the ancient feel. Great Job!

  7. Thanks for sharing a lot of interesting information. It makes me wish that I had taken part in the challenge as well. The necklace is lovely and oh so harmonious!

  8. What an amazing trip, and wonderful inspiration for the theme. Your necklace is a stunner!

  9. I would love to go there too! Your necklace is lovely! The pendant fits perfectly (and I love the old look of it, but I think you would have guessed ;) ) and I am always astound about a good use of yellow beads!

  10. It sounds like your trip was an amazing experience. And, it, along with the theme, inspired a beautiful necklace! How great that you already had those components on hand. They worked out perfectly for this challenge.

  11. Your pictures are stunning. Thats a site on my SouthWest bucket list... I am glad you called your pendant a totem - bc I saw a goddess/figure immediately! Love the cream/earthy palette. Thanks for joining us!

  12. This is really beautiful - I love your design. By the way, I visited and camped in Chaco Canyon back in 1991. It was absolutely magical and so inspiring. I'm glad it inspired your work. Thank you for joining our challenge!

  13. Wow - what a great trip - and such a pretty necklace that it inspired.

  14. I must go to Chaco Canyon one day, I just added it to my "Must See / Must Do' list! Thanks for that historic lead-in to your wonderful piece of totem jewelry. Sounds like your component was just waiting to find the right time to say 'pick me'. I like the ribbon addition, adds a touch of whimsy. Alysen.

  15. The necklace design is lovely. The earthy colors are perfect for the focal bead. Thanks for sharing photos from your trip to that magical place.