As a traditional Navajo, Alvin keeps a low personal profile, but won Best of Jewelry at the prestigious Heard Museum Indian Art Market, the first show he ever entered!
Every time he dares to enter a major show, he wins a major award. Not surprising, when you see the incredible detail and skill in the pieces he makes. – like this stupendous bolo.
He prefers to create wearable sculptures of Pueblo cultural figures, rather than risk the wrath of Navajo spirits. And they are authentic, to the smallest detail.
Channeling the fabled metal artists of the Renaissance, Alvin Vandever is inspired, and skilled enough, to create silver masterpieces that will be enjoyed for centuries – like this spectacular bolo.
Every bit, no matter how small, has been patiently fabricated entirely by hand, and soldered together, by the not-so-dainty fingers of the artist.
We see the torso of a Pueblo Eagle Dancer, impersonating the sacred eagle. Eagles fly so high, they communicate with the heavens, conveying hopes and prayers to the spirits above.
Imperious, as befits the monarch of the skies, this eagle dancer’s head is held proudly high and to the side.
Every detail is astounding: for instance, not only is the beak of the dancer’s mask open, the tongue is seen, too.
Feathers adorn the top of the head, each one painstakingly cut out and chiseled realistically, even to the ties that attach them.
Tiny feathers are inserted into his ears, also minutely chiseled for realism, as are each element in the multi-layered ruff under the chin.
Around his polished, human neck, he wears a meticulously fashioned squash blossom necklace that is perfectly proportioned and detailed.
His gleaming shoulders and arms are visible, holding the voluminous pair of wings that complete his costume.
The double layer of feathered wings are not only exactingly chiseled and cut, they are gracefully shaped into undulating curves, as well.
And then there is the stone that represents the body of the dancer.
Maintaining the exceptional standard of the silverwork, this is a large, thick, irregular nugget of natural Sleeping Beauty turquoise.
Its rugged texture is a marvelous foil to the refined and polished silver, and it brings in the color of the sky, appropriate to the Eagle Dancer subject.
The tips are equally handsome, continuing the remarkable workmanship, and coordinated with the bolo.
A pair of amazingly accurate feathers dangle from silver wires that are wound around the base of the cord, just like the feathers are “tied”.
Even the hand braided leather cord is of the same high quality as the piece itself.
The perfection and precision of Alvin’s work is astonishing and matched by few other jewelers.
This Eagle Dancer is grand and magnificent, in posture, design, and execution.
You can hang it as a work of art when it is not worn.
Catch this exceptional artist’s work now, before it goes into museum collections.