He is a Chino, and he is from Acoma Pueblo, but he is a Master jeweler, not a potter!
Although he works quietly, like so many remarkable artists, he is well-known for his extravagantly complex and heavy-gauge silver work, as well as superb stones.
As you can see in this gorgeous bracelet, Tony is no minimalist, preferring a lavish amount of decoration and color.
His baroque sensibility is always tempered by a careful composition, often symmetrical, that keeps the piece grand and majestic.
This splendid cuff is of his characteristic, heavy silver, incised all over with a series of angular rain and water symbols – even on the inside!
Smooth silver edges are highly polished and perfectly plain, in a gleaming contrast to the incised patterns they frame.
The artist has grouped a collection of handsome, stones and shells across the center. All materials are natural.
Set high, the blocks of color are differently shaped, as well as carefully arranged.
Beautifully marked and vibrant, they include: red coral, creamy antler, black jet, spiny oyster shell, both red and purple, and three different kinds of turquoise.
Skillfully composed, the cluster of rich color echoes the linear energy of the silver design, with varying heights and sizes, all with clear, straight edges.
For instance, the little stepped piece of radiant blue turquoise, on the bottom left, is not only a symbol of rain, it fits right into the similar form of etched silver.
Another stepped bit of turquoise is placed horizontally, off to one side, along with a small rectangle above it, and a near -square of midnight blue lapis, at the top edge.
The stones may be place asymmetrically, but that dark blue lapis relates to the black jet stone at the same height, at the right of the cluster of stones.
Similarly, the turquoise off to the side, relates to the bright blue turquoise pieces in the center.
A very pleasing visual balance is the result, keeping the design grounded, despite the variety of materials and the lively silver patterns.
Warm and cool colors, referring to earth, sky and water, join a universe of rain and water symbols in the silver, creating a unique and magnificent bracelet that is truly a collector’s dream.