The precision of his silver work and the harmony of his designs have led to this award-winning artist’s high reputation.
His art is personal and innovative, using original designs inspired by his Navajo traditions like this beautiful cuff.
He calls this “The Long March”, recalling the tragic trek imposed on the Navajo in the 19th-century, when they were forced to walk from their homelands to a fort in eastern New Mexico.
The tapered form allows for a gradual progression in size, of the stepped elements, from smaller at the narrow end, to largest at the wide end.
This gives the illusion of a long line of people, stretching over many miles.
As he likes to do, Ray built up the design in several layers, so there is a three-dimensional, even sculptural, look to the piece.
Three layers of silver are involved: the textured base of the cuff, the textured and darkened layer, and the highly polished layer on top.
Each layer is of the same stepped design, which is also a symbol of rainfall, and, therefore, extremely good luck.
Each layer has been carefully sawn out of silver, then overlaid on each other.
The base and second layers were not only sawn out, but textured with silver dust which was fused to the silver.
This tricky process is process called “granulation”.
The top layer was brilliantly polished, which makes it appear to float above the others, which are ghostly shadows.
Notice that the narrow end is cut into a series of steps, in the opposite direction from the gleaming elements.
Aside from awards at all the most prestigious Native art shows, Ray’s work is found in museums and private collections, here, and abroad.
Meticulous workmanship, combined with creative and memorable design, makes this bracelet both stunning, and very special.
Comfortable to wear, too!