Watson Honanie is a major prize-winning jeweler.
He is especially noted for his intricate workmanship, the high drama of his designs, which relate to Hopi culture and life, and his effective mixing of silver and gold.
He was mentored by his uncle, the late, celebrated Fred Kabotie, founder of the “Hopi”style” of jewelry, and the Hopi Guild, itself (which trained many jewelers).
This piece again demonstrates his faultless command of metal work and super-dramatic sense of design.
A nicely solid base of sterling silver is overlaid with silver, to form seven segments.
Against the velvety black, finely textured background, the silver lines gleam in icy contrast.
Each segment is the frame for an abstracted, flowing applique of an ancient, iconic symbol of good luck.
Each motif is rounded in form, and cut out of 14-karat gold which glows like the sun, against the pitch-dark background.
You see a circular bear with eagle feather and heartline, to protect and offer hunting and survival power; the hunchbacked Kokopelli, blowing his life-giving seeds; a lanky turtle, and a plumply rounded frog; the hand of blessing and protection, and a cornstalk with undulating leaves.
Each of these symbols is precisely and voluptuously formed. Each one gleams luxuriously, against the matte blackness.
Turtles and frogs are water creatures; also fertility symbols. Water is precious in the high desert.
The cornstalk represents the happy result of protection, blessing, seeds, and water. Corn is the Native staff of life.
With an ample corn crop, people are healthy, happy, and prosperous.
Then, there is the center segment, where a gorgeous, natural red coral oval is embraced in a gold bezel.
Symbol of the earth, the coral adds a blaze of color to the shimmering gold.
The splendor of shapely gold motifs is radiant, crisply silhouetted against deepest darkness, resulting in a gorgeously dramatic effect.
With infinite skill, the artist has created a stunning pendant. Artistry has transformed traditional motifs into an opulent, magnificent piece.
As luxurious as the materials are, this fabulous pendant will look just as dazzling with pullovers, and other everyday clothes.
And in the evening……!