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Georgian Collar gorget harness " Guard of Lost Sheep"

This piece deserves an explanation;  I was commissioned to make an authentic Georgian influenced gorget for a Caucasian Shepherd otherwise known as an Ovcharcha.  This large mastiff type shepherd was used in the mountain regions similar to its neighboring breed-the Turkish Kangal.  It was primarily used to protect the herds from predators hence the large spikes.  Traditionally these long spikes were used for the dogs protection.  Special thanks to Mark Nevling (blacksmith, knife maker), for re-creating the 5.5 cm spikes, they were truly authentic looking pieces.

Following along onto the chest plate I utilized my interpretation of the Georgian culture, I researched art works, architecture, knives etc., I also used the Georgian coat of arms as a guideline.  On the chest crest that I created you will notice the use of twisted wire on the perimeter-I noticed many artworks with the twisted rope concept.  The filigree used resembles some of the architecture, and I also placed a red stone in each which is also vastly used.  The two shoulder crests are two rampant lions resembling the flag, top center is the roaring lion.  Going down from there I used some great filigree, and waved copper pieces with studs, on the inside I used sheep charms to depict the characteristics of what the shepherd was used for.  Bottom center there is a two dragon crest which is the interpretation of St. George dispensing the serpent/dragon, which is also depicted on the flag.  Just down from there I used an eagle shield which represents the Russian occupancy of the Georgian country.

With the richness of the Georgian culture, and its many influences this piece was a challenge, but I believe I have captured the essence, and I thank Brian T. for this commission which has taken my work to the next level.
For some great information on the Ovcharka, and the regional mountain dogs of the Caucasian regions this link is invaluable;  http://bpg.sytes.net/Nagazi/brochure.asp?bpgcid=2&cat=y&sbmt=y





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