Lorenzo Shirley is a talented young Navajo silversmith, known for using fine, natural turquoise and other stones, as you can see in the tips of this unusual bolo.
The artist has created a new look, with traditional elements and inspiration.
The silver is lightly oxidized and textured, and left unpolished, for a muted finish that gently glistens, as if the piece were buried for a long time and recently unearthed.
Intricate and flawless workmanship in the silver includes gracefully tapered repousse work, where the design elements are raised on the front, having been pushed out from behind, by hand.
This is prominent in the oval “face” of the bolo, and both sides of the butterfly bow, below.
The rest of the bolo itself is a beautiful arrangement of tiny stamped elements, which add up to a complex and richly textured pattern.
Tufa cast earrings are highly polished and un-textured, for a gleaming accent.
Similar shapes are repeated in miniature, in the scalloped border of the headdress and the center panel of the butterfly bow.
All over the headdress, the hand stamping and chisel work are minute, and incredibly precise.
The careful design, and its implementation, extends to the tips.
Long and tapered, referring to the tapered forms of the repousse areas, the tips are smooth, and lightly oxidized.
A decorative triple border adorns the tops; tufa cast, square silver dangles are inlaid with brilliant, natural turquoise and red coral.
Vivid blue in the natural turquoise, with dull gold, pyrite matrix, identifies it as from the Morenci mine, on the New Mexico/Arizona border.
The natural coral is the deepest, dark red, a sign of the highest quality.
Even the cord is exceptionally fine, hand braided, with a supple braided section around the neck, for ultimate comfort.
Traditional in inspiration and general look, but definitely a creative version, this bolo brings the past into the new century, with marvelous skill and artistry.
This is an artist to watch.