Bryan Tom began making jewelry only about seven years ago when he apprenticed with a veteran Navajo silversmith.
He is a first-generation jeweler, but has already won awards, at Santa Fe Indian Market and elsewhere.
His forte is spectacular inlay work, as seen in this amazing pendant.
On a base of thick, natural mother of pearl, the artist has created a pattern of mosaic inlay that features an abstract parrot, on the right.
The design follows the natural form of the slab of mother of pearl, and beautifully contrasts a wonderful variety of warm hues, on the left, with the predominant turquoise hues of the parrot, to the right.
Lustrous mother of pearl and jet, with a sliver of curved sterling channel, marks the shape of the parrot as if outlining the sweep of its wing.
Again, the design follows the gracefully curved form of the base shell.
A tiny dot of 14-karat gold is inlaid in its spider-web turquoise eye.
Created with supreme skill and artistry, this is a unique and wonderfully colorful pendant; a modern version of the historic inlaid shells that go back to prehistoric times.
Beautiful design, beautifully made, and a real bargain, to boot.