The youngest son of celebrated jeweler/educator Connnie Tsosie Gaussoin, Wayne Nez continues his family’s extraordinarily gifted ways.
His award-winning work is already in permanent museum collections, as well as avidly collected.
Artistic interests include music, photography and fashion, as well as jewelry.
His outlook is contemporary, often taking off from the traditional, as seen in this fascinating naja.
He tends to make sculptural forms in jewelry, also noticeable, in this piece.
Tufa cast sterling forms a substantial, peaked horseshoe form, just like the najas of old, that usually dangled from a squash blossom necklace.
The artist has kept the silver finish roughened on the front, and smoothed on the back, where a hand-fabricated, large, and sturdy shepherd’s hook is attached.
This naja will hang handsomely from any necklace matching its solid scale: silver beads, other beads, etc.
So far, so unexceptional, but this creative artist goes way beyond the expected, bringing his unique vision of tradition right into the 21st- century.
Bright green filaments of nylon thread form a cats’-cradle across the naja, criss-crossing the center and the two arms, to form a vivid web.
Caught in this intricate web is a round black, hand cut bead.
Totally traditional, and totally contemporary, this naja is a work of art that you can wear, hand fabricated by a multi-talented, award-winning artist, from a celebrated family of notable artists.