Signed Darios Chikumbirik
Additional Information: Butter Jade an intensely hard sedimentary rock carries greater prestige, particularly among the more prominent artists. The stone is typically around 50 million years old and between 6 and 7 on Moh's hardness scale and consequently a very hard rock, difficult to work and a challenging sculpting medium. It gets its name from the outer looks and colors of the stone. Sometimes called Butter stone it has a creamy yellow to pale green color with dark striations throughout that are layers containing fossilized algae. These black striations are incipient planes of weakness with the stone mass and sometimes require strengthening with epoxy prior to or during the carving process. Epoxy strengthened planes of weakness differ from repairs in that the carving is smooth and continuous across them as if it were an intact solid piece of stone. Although the locals call the stone 'Jade', it is however, not jade.
Moses Kowo, a Shona fine artist from Chitungwezi Industrial Township, Harare, Zimbabwe sculpted the artwork and proudly signed (inscribed) his name on the underside of the stomach to authenticate the piece. This piece is exceptionally well-finished and finely detailed in proportion and to scale. Moses carved the animal walking on the prowl. His incredible attention to detail and form brings it alive with detail of mouth, fangs and teeth, tongue, nostrils, eyes, ears, facial hair, skin folds, tail, paws and toes with claws created a very realistic and true to life leopard. Peruse and scrutinize the superb artistry and attention to detail.
Carved in Chitungwezi Industrial Township (south of Harare), Zimbabwe by a co-operative sculpting group that teachers the many unemployed youth to develop their artistic talents. The group is lead by George Marondereyi and Moses Kowo is one of his established artists who produces many of the smaller fine art animal sculptures.