The young jeweler, along with her husband, Joe Cajero, Jr., has been recently honored for her work. They were named the New Mexico Museum of Indian Arts & Culture Living Treasures for 2014. This is the first time in its 10-year history that the award was given jointly to two artists. In a relatively short time, Althea has progressed from novice to major award-winner, creating jewelry that is graceful, abstract, harmonious and beautifully made. Lustrous, sinuous, luxurious, contemporary in style with an ancient message, this is a superb bracelet in every way. A band of polished silver floats above the cuttlebone texture of the sterling cuff, like a stream of water. The texture of the base, in repeated curves, recalls the sands at the bottom of a river, washed into a similar pattern by the movement of the water. A perfect, natural red coral cabochon is set in gold, suggesting the reflection of the sun in the water. This theme of river and land, water and sun, is an age-old combination in Native life, symbolizing the harmony of Nature.The whole pattern of the bracelet is horizontal, so it seems to flow across the wrist. Notice that the oval coral has been set sideways, as well. It nestles into the curve of the polished band like a glimpse of the setting – or rising – sun. The hand -cut bezel mimics the rays of the sun and also echoes the lines of the cuttlebone texture. As pleasing as the design is, the workmanship involved is just as meticulous. The inside of the bracelet is slightly convex and smoothed, for complete comfort. Every element of the design is crisp, and cleanly finished, as befits a “Living Treasure’s work.Just like the jeweler herself, this bracelet is contemporary, with roots in ancient tradition, elegant, but not formal, and beautiful in every way. Althea has wonderfully captured a piece of her heritage’s past that looks splendid and fresh now, and will do so far into the future.
Sterling Silver, 14k Gold, Natural Coral
Total Size: 6 1/2″ Cuff Size: 5 1/4″ Gap Size: 1 1/4″ Width: 7/8″