Concho Buckle with TurquoisePete Johnson
He was one of ten children and his mother supported them entirely by weaving Navajo Rugs.
When Pete was young, the late, celebrated jeweler, Thomas Curtis, adopted him as a son and taught Pete the art of silversmithing.
Another mentor was the great Navajo silversmith, Al Joe.
With teachers like these and his own natural gifts, it is no wonder Pete has become a regular award-winner, with collectors all over the world.
This classic buckle, in concho style, is significant for its amazingly precise hand stamping, and for the magnificent, natural, Kingman water web turquoise set in the center.
The stamp work embellishes the form of the buckle, emphasizing the scalloped edge, and forming a remarkably uniform and crisp border.
The gorgeous turquoise looks as if it were dappled all over with drops of water – the source of its nickname: water web.
It is cut into a pillowed square and set in a diamond shape. To be cut like that, the stone must have a high degree of hardness.
To be set on edge like that draws the eye to the stone and displays the artist’s aesthetic sensibility.
The silverwork is perfectly attuned to the overall design and the splendid stone. The working parts on the back are also hand made.
For instance, the delicate stamping around the stone echoes the diamond shape and points to the encircling stamped borders.
This is a masterful, modern interpretation of a classic buckle style.
A belt 1 1/4″ wide will easily fit.