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, and the same at the Gallup Ceremonial, the second time he entered a piece, at our urging!
Likewise, he prefers to create wearable sculptures of Hopi and 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 little masterpieces that will be enjoyed for centuries – like this spectacular bolo.
It is the torso of a Pueblo Eagle Dancer, impersonating the sacred eagle. Eagles fly so high, they communicate with the heavens, conveying hopes and prayers.
Imperious, as befits the monarch of the skies, this eagle dancer’s head is held proudly high and to the side. Every detail is astonishing: not only is the dancer’s beak open, his tongue is seen, as well.
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 the feathers in the multi-layered ruff around the neck.
Around his polished, human neck, he wears a meticulously fashioned squash blossom necklace. 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.
Every single bit of this splendid bolo is hand fabricated by the not-so-dainty fingers of the artist.
The tips are equally handsome, simple cylinders that are beautifully hand stamped, to coordinate with the bolo. Even the hand braided leather cord is of the same high quality as the piece itself.
And then there is the stone that represents the body of the dancer. Maintaining the exceptionally high standard of the silver work, this is a large, glorious, natural Blue Gem turquoise.
Blue Gem turquoise is prized for its gorgeous, vivid teal blue hue, as seen in this superb stone.
Together with the toasty tan matrix, it seems to be an apt metaphor for the Eagle Dancer: Blue for the skies, brown for the earth; the realm of the eagle goes from one to the other.
The perfection and precision of Alvin’s work is amazing, and matched by few other jewelers. This Eagle Dancer is grand and magnificent, in posture, design, and execution.
Catch this extraordinary artist’s work now, before it goes into museum collections.