A wonderfully individual style is evident in this compelling necklace, which the artist has dubbed a “solo tie”, by emerging artist Jonah Hill, with design help from twin brother Gregory Hill.
He studied at the Institute for American Indian Arts, in Santa Fe, and has returned home to create art in metals, wood carving, and print-making.
The artist says, “I am from the Hopi reservation in Northern Arizona. To the Hopi, water plays an important part of daily life. As dry farmers we rely on annual rain and snowfall to benefit our crops and orchards.”
His interest in the role of water extends beyond symbols; he is a river guide, herbalist, and environmental educator, in addition to his artistic work.
This handsome pendant necklace features traditional water symbols, and also an earthy, natural Seven Dwarves mine variscite, in amphibious colors of green and brown.
One side of the stone is a milky, translucent pale, that seems like the moon.
Cast from cuttlebone, the heavy-gauge silver is darkened, and applied with rainstorm symbols and dragonflies.
Dragonflies are an ancient symbol for water, since they live on and above, streams.
The curved ribs of the cuttlebone resemble ripples of water, while the zig-zag edge is a reference to a stream, or other waterway.
Although heavily textured, the applied water symbols are also burnished, along with the stamped borders, so they glisten softly, as moving water does, reflecting light.
The pendant is attached to a slender cord of hand-braided leather, finished with tips of polished silver.
The warm brown of the leather repeats the matrix hue in the variscite, and hints at balancing water with earth.
This piece is suited for men as well as women.
It is rugged, but with a certain delicacy, goes well with our casual lifestyles, and will look great whatever the gender of the happy wearer.
A fascinating and beautifully integrated piece that incorporates artistic flair with assured workmanship, and expresses traditional and contemporary environmental values.