Channeling the long history of cut shell and stone jewelry, at Santo Domingo (Kewa) Pueblo, this long-time artist has beautifully brought it into our century.
Four strands of dark brown pen shell disks, from a mollusc that lives in tropical oceans, are brightened and livened with little nuggets of natural coral.
The pendant is a natural clam shell, smoothed and polished, inlaid in a modern pattern with mosaic pieces of turquoise, red coal, lapis, and more pen shell.
Silver channels divide the colors and materials, each of which is inlaid in a different pattern, and with different sized mosaic pieces.
The silver bail is big enough to slide effortlessly off the strands of heishi, so each component of the necklace can be worn separately, and/or with different partners.
Resulting from incredible patience and skill, this necklace and pendant is a striking. vibrant, and dramatic update of a tradition centuries old.