Spider Woman is central to Navajo creation stories, and insect pins have been a specialty of Navajo jewelers since they began working in silver and stones.
This genre is enjoying new popularity these days, and one major proponent is Herbert Ration, the creator of this beautifully imaginative piece.
All of nature is honored, by the Navajo, and bees, who contribute to the spread of plant life, are definitely included.
This masterful pin combines the long-time “bug” tradition with the equal tradition of floral designs, in a remarkable pin.
It is really two complete pieces, ingeniously joined into one spectacular whole, with natural stones.
The bee is composed of jasper (appropriately dubbed “Bumblebee” because of its yellow and dark stripes) with a radiant blue turquoise head and lapis eyes.
Gracefully formed and stamped silver wings are antiqued, and the silver wire legs attach it to the flower, as it leans in for a nectar feast.
The flower has a silver stem and base, with a luminous pink mother of pearl petals and a dark green malachite center.
The center is surrounded by a chiseled silver rope, with tiny little domes in between each petal, all also antiqued.
Three leaves are formed of delicate ovals of silver, set with three different, green and teal turquoise stones.
Tiny silver beads attach each leaf to the stem.
Despite its length, the pin appears delicate and airy, thanks to space between the various elements.
Each element is carefully and expertly fabricated, and the variety of colors in the natural stones and shell creates a springtime palette that will go with just about everything.
Imaginative and innovative, this pin also refers to a long tradition, and as the Navajo say, it has beauty below, beauty above, and beauty in every way.
A wonderful, uncommon expression of artistry and skill!