And now for something very different…. A younger inlay artist from Santo Domingo, Kewa Pueblo, he is the son of famed jeweler Mary Lovato, who was his mentor. Isaac follows the tradition of his family and his pueblo, in creating inlaid jewelry, but, as this remarkable bolo shows, with his own, contemporary touch.
Beautifully regular and satin-smooth inlay of jet, mother of pearl, apple coral, and turquoise, forms a handsome frame around the centerpiece of both bolo, and the matching tips. The unexpected material in the center is natural marlstone, a limestone type, formed in clay and mud millions of years ago, on sea and lake bottoms. The decorative cream-colored swirls and shapes within the grey-brown stone are fossilized fusulinids, an extinct type of creature related to snails, mollusks, etc. The combination is intriguing and novel.
With its random pattern of circular forms, the fossil stone looks as if someone dooodled on it with chalk; a fresh and interesting look. The mother of pearl that is prominent in the inlaid frame symbolically links it to the sea, and provides a glistening contrast to the matte stone. The tips are miniature versions of the bolo, with the same materials. One difference – there is a tiny green turquoise heishi bead inlaid in a square of mother of pearl, on each tip.
Attention getting, in a quiet way, with an innovative combination of materials, this bolo is impeccable in workmanship. Another generation is carrying tradition into the 21st-century, with creativity and skill.