A Kiowa from Oklahoma, Byron McCurtain graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with a degree in photography. Chance brought him in touch with several jewelers, and he developed an interest in lapidary work.
With the notable mentorship of the late, celebrated Gibson Nez, he has emerged as a master of stone-work and equally masterful in silver work.
Working with top-quality stones, his impeccable technique and artistic eye has brought him into the forefront of younger artists.
This ring is a perfect example of his beautiful style and confident skill.
Displayed in a seemingly simple, shadowbox setting, the stabilized Bisbee turquoise takes center stage, literally, too.
A prominently toothed bezel enhances, but does not distract from, the distinctive stone.
The edges of the silver oval surrounding the shadowbox is not so simple.
Also a shadowbox, that looks unadorned from the front, the narrow edge is actually overlaid in a row of polished, triangular shapes.
These gleam against the darkened background. The shank is given over to complex and similar, designs.
Broad, and tapered slightly at the back, it features highly polished, overlaid silver, in three rows of gently angular shape, that flow across the darkened base.
These complement the triangular row on the edge of the face. The edges of the shank are cut out, following the wavy form of the silver.
And there is even more! At the very back, there is a beautifully chiseled plaque of polished silver, that covers the width of the shank.
The angular forms are like lightning and and water; this area symbolizes rainfall.
A lovely stone, and exemplary silver work in a creative design, comprise a beautifully original and handsome ring.
Gibson Nez, Byron’s mentor, would be proud.