While researching mandalas, I recently came across Jay Mohler's amazing yarn work. If you grew up in the Southwest, you've probably made the popsicle stick versions of these traditional designs originally from Mexico and South America. Mohler's work is completely different! He uses dowels and multi colored yarns to construct his eight-sided (based on Navajo ojos de dios) and twelve-sided pieces.
Ojo de Dios translates to Eye of God, literally, however they are usually just called God's Eyes. They have a long history as protective talismans - you can read more about them in this great lesson plan from the Tucson Unified School District.
Mohler sells his works of art on Etsy. On his website, he also offers a free pdf explaining how to make the eight-sided versions.
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Annalise Ippolito of Mandala Web has an interesting interview with the artist here where he talks about how he first learned of Ojos de Dios and what original conventions he follows while creating them.
And if you'd like to try your hand at a smaller version, Caron Yarn's website has a good set of instructions here. They look great as Christmas tree ornaments!
Happy Creating! Deborah