Essence of Life Concho Belt

Peter Nelson


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Peter Nelson is well-known for his mastery of silver overlay technique, and skill in design.

He has developed a distinctive, contemporary style of his own, perhaps influenced by his mother’s weavings.

His silver work is extraordinary: flawlessly cut out and overlaid; the base darkened with acid.

This highlights the crisply delineated, polished pattern, which gives the piece richness and depth.

There is a subtle and satisfying interplay of angular, triangular lines in every element of this exceptional concho belt.

There are six different variations of the same good luck motifs among the eight conchos and the buckle, which creates a look of harmony and, also, energy to the design.

Traditional stepped rain signs, angular spirals denoting the river or path of life and/or storm clouds, etched and stamped parallel lines symbolizing rainfall; all refer to the precious source of life, water.

The artist has artfully manipulated these few elements into different permutations and patterns, that are all related, but somewhat different.

Even the borders vary: some are plain, just with a few chiseled lines, some are stamped, some are a combination, but with different stamps.

The subtle differences from concho to concho, and in the larger buckle, animate the overall impression. The belt is never static, yet has a fabulously cohesive look.

The artist’s attention to quality and detail continues to the “wrong” side: each concho is held in place by two bars of sterling silver; not copper, and not just one bar.

Likewise, the functional  parts of the buckle are handmade silver.

Although it is not apparent in the conchos, held in place against dark-hued leather, there are small areas in each one, and the buckle, which are completely cut out.

This is visible when the buckle is held up to the light.

Like all his award-winning work, this splendid concho belt is a virtuoso display of impeccably fabricated silver overlay, chiseling and stamping.

The creativity and beauty of the design is at the same high level as the workmanship.

Man or woman, you will long enjoy wearing this tastefully spectacular belt. You can even share it!

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