Thunderbird pendant

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Project by rilanda posted 07-19-2012 05:24 PM 1148 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this pendant for a very good friend of mine who has been fighting a battle with cancer for the last few months, pleased to say that the cancer is now in remission. He has had a lifelong interest in the American Indian and had always wanted a Thunderbird pendant but never been able to locate one. He downloaded a photograph of one and with a little magic I proportionately reduced it to a pendant size, produced a drawing and made him what you see here in these two photo’s. The piece is laminated from different species of timber; back was made from Goncalo Alves veneer; core was Japanese Sen; Face was Amboyna Burr; the button centre is Ebony. The complete pendant is only 5 mm thick and cross laminated to provide strength. The item is small, no more than 65mm square and laminated by hand using PVA adhesive, fret cut by hand using a small piercing saw fitted with a very fine blade; finally carved by hand using a small amount of Bluetac to hold the pendant to a flat surface and a 60deg Vee shaped carving chisel. The item took about two hours to make including cleaning up, it was finished using 3 spray coats of acrylic clear lacquer. A small amount of time for a good mate, the look on his face when I gave it to him was priceless. He has now threaded it with a leather thong and wears it proudly on a daily basis. Nice to know that you can use your skills to give someone so much pleasure.

-- Bill, Nottingham. Remember its not waiting for the storm to end, but learning to dance in the rain that counts. If you dont make mistakes, you make nothing at all.

5 comments so far

View irishbob's profile


9 posts in 2598 days

#1 posted 07-19-2012 05:36 PM

That is a really nice looking pendant.

-- Robert New Mexico

View Tom Godfrey's profile

Tom Godfrey

488 posts in 2377 days

#2 posted 07-19-2012 06:48 PM

really like the pendant but I like the story behind the pendant even better. As you said its nice to be able to make someone a gift of a lifetime. You are blessed my friend to be able to do this kind of work and blessed even more to have friends that appreciate your talent.

-- Tom Godfrey Landrum South Carolina (

View IndianJoe's profile


425 posts in 2451 days

#3 posted 07-19-2012 09:59 PM

It’s nice you did this for your friend and my name is Nimkee and I will put down my tobacco for him and ask that he stays in remission and for you beening friend to him and giving him the happens he need at , hard time in his life .
I do not know him but the whey you talk he is a good men and so are you take care .
Baamaapii ( till next time ) Nimkee
My name = Thunder

-- Nimkee** Joe

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2741 days

#4 posted 07-19-2012 11:48 PM

Wonderful gift. Looks great.

-- I never finish anyth

View rilanda's profile


172 posts in 2356 days

#5 posted 09-04-2017 06:27 PM

sadly my friend lost his fight with cancer almost two years ago. His sister decided to keep the pendant I had made that he had worn right up to the day he passed on. Therefor I made the memorial shown in the pictures which hangs in the local cafe as a reminder of his life. I carved another copy of the pendant into the memorial and the inscription “Meet on the ledge” was his favorite farewell when we parted after meeting. The inscription is the title of a song track by a band called Fairport Convention, that was his favorite band who we met on several occasions and who attended his funeral. Tony was an accomplished musician, lived on a narrow boat on the local river his boat was named Fairport. The memorial is made in European Oak and the black button in the center on the thunderbird is African Blackwood. RIP Tony

-- Bill, Nottingham. Remember its not waiting for the storm to end, but learning to dance in the rain that counts. If you dont make mistakes, you make nothing at all.

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