Watson Honanie is now a major, prize-winning jeweler, especially noted for his precise workmanship, the high drama of his designs, which relate to Hopi culture and life, and his effective mixing of silver and gold.
He was mentored by his uncle, the late, celebrated Fred Kabotie, founder of the “Hopi”style” of jewelry, and the Hopi Guild, itself (which trained many jewelers).
This latest piece demonstrates his faultless command of metal work and dramatic sense of design.
This marvelous pendant celebrates the dragonfly, and its role in bringing good luck. It is expressed in the artist’s characteristic, meticulous overlay technique, with 14-karat gold covering a darkened base of sterling silver.
The gold is cut into a pattern rain and cloud designs on the wings, referring to the dragonfly’s association with water, the source of life.
Here, it is depicted as a Hopi maiden, with a typical hairdo. Every detail is clean and clear; her hair is textured, but the rest is highly polished and gleams against the black background.
The contrast between the highly polished gold and the dense black background is wonderfully graphic; the bail is also gold, for visual continuity.
A beautifully designed and flawlessly fabricated piece by this Master Jeweler.