Don Dewa learned inlay techniques from his mother-in-law, Loretta Quam Eriacho, and has blossomed into a top award-winning jeweler. He creates highly respected and avidly collected pieces of first-rate inlay with transitional designs that are both traditional and modern, and altogether attractive, as in this double-feature pendant.
In this beautifully detailed pendant, a knife-wing dancer holds aloft a Sunface. The wing feathers of the dancer are meticulously carved jet, where every spine of the feathers is visible. At his feet, eagle feathers are shown in mother of pearl, with inlaid jet tips. His kilt is inlaid with turquoise, mother of pearl and iridescent abalone shell; his body is striped with natural red coral, jet and yellow mother of pearl, while his face is turquoise, with inlaid jet features and turquoise earrings.
Arms and legs combine jet and mother of pearl, with turquoise moccasins on the feet.The Sunface is traditional, with inlaid jet features in mother of pearl, and red coral and turquoise, separated by inlaid jet lines. There is a circular frame of chunk inlaid red coral and turquoise, with a touch of jet, all around the Sunface.
But wait – there is an unexpected, Dewa-specialty touch: that little Sunface swivels in its silver and inlaid frame! If you wish to concentrate on the dancer, just whirl the Sunface and a non-objective dome of inlaid coral, jet, and turquoise appears, perfectly in sync with the rest of the piece, but without any distracting features. This is a Don Dewa trademark – he innovated making swiveling parts to his jewelry, and his happy collectors love to enjoy them.
This, like all his work, is a marvel of creative skill, flawlessly executed and vibrantly colorful. No question that Don Dewa is a master, revered by his peers and enjoyed by his many collectors. Just think what fun it will be to show off that spinning Sunface!