Watson is a famous, major prize-winning jeweler, especially noted for his intricate workmanship, the high drama of his designs, and the beautiful 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 (which trained many jewelers).
This exceptionally handsome pendant demonstrates his faultless command of metalwork and design.
The base is sterling silver, textured and darkened with acid, overlaid with a hexagonal silver grid that includes a different appliqued motif in each segment.
The individual motifs stand out dramatically, against the black matte background, in highly-polished 14-karat gold.
In the center is a gleaming, stylized Corn Maiden, symbolizing the spirit of corn, the staff of life for southwestern tribes, especially the Pueblos.
Her head, hair, and kernels are beautifully detailed, while the corn leaves are abstract and plain.
Below her, is a bear, with a cut-out heart line. The bear symbolizes hunting prowess, strength, and protection.
The heart line indicates the source of his powers.
Moving clockwise from the bear is an ear of corn, referring, as before, to the staff of life, and an abundant harvest.
Above that is Kokopelli, the Life-Bringer, who blows the seeds that develop into all life, including crops.
At the tops, is a frog, symbol of fertility, and water, where frogs live. Above the frog, itself are wavy lines referring to flowing water.
Water is paramount for the dry-farming Hopi – no irrigation in the high desert.
The frog’s back is nicely detailed, with very delicate legs, as well.
Moving to the right side, a human hunter stands, with his bow. A little spiral indicates water and the path of life.
Finally, there is a lizard, denizen of the desert, which eats insects that might harm crops. This, too, is full of detail and delicacy.
The thick, gleaming 14-karat gold designs and the highly polished silver frames are especially effective against the velvety black background.
Every bit of the workmanship is perfect; the splendid design is traditional, but looks strikingly modern.
Bold and elegant, this is a masterful piece of jewelry, by a recognized Master. Plus, the design represents the very best luck.