Many traditionalists will say, looking at this fine bracelet, “Now that’s Indian Jewelry!” Related to famed silversmith Jennifer Curtis and her late father, Thomas, Pete has the family’s deft hand with silver.
Here, he turns it to a seemingly traditional, Navajo-style bracelet. However, this is tradition with elegant updating in style and technique, both.
As in the past, a special turquoise is set in the center, in this case, a high-quality, natural, Kingman turquoise set high and proud in a hand-cut silver bezel.
Also following time-tested design, the stone and other elements at the top are set on linear bars of silver. Unlike the past, these are not three skinny, separated wires, but five, that are attached – indeed, actually carved and cast from tufa stone, then polished to brilliantly gleam.
The handsome blue turquoise has two areas of lacy matrix, allowing the lovely color to be prominent. This rounded oval is set horizontally, rather than vertically, to maintain the visual flow of the bracelet.
Flanking the stone, and applied to the darkened background of the cuff, are two small fluted beads, with a repousse teardrop form on either side of these.
At first glance a good old-fashioned Navajo bracelet; at a closer look, the grace of the horizontal design, the “faux” wires, and general elegance of the piece are not so traditional. Nor is the fastidious workmanship.
What can we call this? Nouveau Navajo? Navajo Modern? Or, just plain terrific in every way.