Vernon’s work is always modern in looks, but, according to a respected reference work, his “individual vision sets him apart from tradition while retaining the cultural origins that inspired his talent.”
Here is a great example of his ability to create distinctive contemporary designs, using materials and symbols associated with tradition; the result has been innumerable awards.
The bear is revered by nearly all tribes, nationally, for its strength, power, intelligence, hunting ability, and survival savvy. It is a symbol of protection, as well.
This gracefully formed bear is minimal in detail but very recognizable; the silver is heavily textured, to suggest its shaggy pelt.
Despite the abstraction of form, the bear’s muzzle, ears, and tail, as well as its bulk, are clearly depicted.
In the center of the body, a quintet of stones is set, serving as a modern version of the medicine bundle that contains the animal’s powers.
Agate, sugilite, turquoise, lapis, and red coral, all-natural, are cut into tapered slivers, and add a jolt of lively color.
Not too large, not too small, this pin is just the right size to carry the powerful protection of the bear – and the striking beauty of this particular one – with you, everywhere.