This artist was a recipient of a coveted and prestigious fellowship accorded by SWAIA, the sponsor of Santa Fe Indian Market. He also won the Best of Division prize for a magnificent belt, in 2014.
He makes his own tools, using dental tools,and modifying them; forming perfect curves by molding soft silver around bowling balls!
This magnificent bolo is one of his latest pieces. A combination of tufa casting and stone setting that is superb in execution and dazzling in effect.
“Night Hunter” is the name, referencing the owl, revered by the Hopi and Zuni for its ability to hunt successfully in the dark, and who can see in the dark.
The owl is portrayed as a human dancer, with owl mask, and full hunter’s regalia: bow, quiver full of arrows, kilt, moccasins, and deerskin shawl.
His ruff of feathers is shown as an inlaid piece of pre-historic, fossilized dinosaur bone; his big round eyes and predatory beak are inlaid shell, and three-dimensional.
Jet dots, inlaid in the shell, emphasize the eyes. Natural Kingman turquoise centers his forehead, as well as the three diamond -shapes (stars?), while a fine piece of natural, 1970s Lone Mountain turquoise holds his deerskin shawl together.
The background is darkened, and incised all over with pointy, triangular forms that intersect. Although textured by the tufa in which it was carved, the raised and rolled edge, and the dimensional form of the owl itself, are burnished and brightened, in contrast.
Every detail of the owl dancer, from feathered headdress, to fingers, to knee ties, embroidery on the kilt, etc., is precisely and cleanly carved – a real feat when dealing with crumbly tufa.
The tips are kept simple; the large and arresting bolo itself is the focus of attention.
A breathtaking piece of jewelry, for man or woman, by a rising star – already pretty risen, really! This is definitely one to enjoy and pass down, if only to a museum.