our club was formed in 1957 and its name selected, the Tuscarora Indian
Head was chosen as our club emblem. The club is named after the Tuscarora
tribe who long ago inhabited this region (Pennsylvania). The idea of an
intarsia (commesso) of this subject had been discussed from time to time
plans for our GEMARAMA '75 show were being formulated, we sought a theme
or subject that would generate interest in our show. It was then that the
intarsia idea was again resurrected and work on it was started. A color
sketch of the Indian head was prepared by Paul Longnecker (director of the
project). This, along with color swatches of the minerals needed, was presented
and approved. A tracing of the parts and shapes that would be needed was
made and patterns were cut from a parchment type paper.
When the selection of materials was completed, the patterns were shellacked
and cemented to appropriate slabs and the parts distributed to the members.
They were instructed to trim these shapes to 1/32 of an inch of the pattern.
The final assembly and fitting was done by Harold Comfort.
assembling was done in five sections, which were smoothed on a large lap.
In making a section, a piece of wax paper was placed on plate glass and
the slabs placed face down on the wax paper. A "V" groove between
the pieces allowed for epoxy to join them together without sticking to the
After the whole assembly was completed, a temporary frame was built around
it, and the back was coated with plaster of paris. We were then ready for
the final cleanup and the permanent frame.
efforts were amply rewarded when the show opened and the intarsia occupied
a prominent place befitting our cooperative project, just as it has done
at every show since".
MATERIALS USED IN THE INTARSIA
Hair: Black Obsidian
Face: Light & Dark Feldspar
Highlights: Blue Petrified Wood
Feathers: Gray Quartz & Yellow Jasper
Background: Green Serpentine
1983, starting with an oil painting by Ann D'Allura, the original bell committee
under the direction of Harold Comfort began collecting slabs and shaping
them. After the bell proper was 85% finished, the committee felt that the
material was giving an unsatisfactory appearance. So the project was abandoned
with the hope that more appropriate material would be found.
years later, the "bell" was rediscovered. This time artist Mike
Quinn made sketches and watercolor renderings, spending much time on the
project. From a scan of a photo of the Liberty Bell the graphics design
program Quark Xpress was used to prepare the pattern for the intarsia. This
pattern was then transferred to the various slabs. Many members helped cut
the slabs to the size of the pattern pieces. The final fitting was then
left to the committee
Approximately 275 hours of effort went into
the construction of the Liberty Bell intarsia."
Sky: blue lace agate
Bell proper: nephrite jade, blue tigereye, and jasper
Bell highlight: jasper
Yoke: petrified wood
Nuts, bolts, and straps: jasper and tigereye
Crack: black jade
Background flowers: pink and green thulite
Background grass: Pennsylvania serpentine
Artist: Mike Quinn
Pattern maker: Frank Warner
Cutters: Ben Coren, Gary Cummings, George Franklin, Betty Margerum,
Betty Smith, Gary & Kathy Statton, Frank Warner, and Al Webber
Final fitters: Betty Margerum, Betty Smith, Kathy Statton, and Frank
Final framing: Frank Warner