Ceaselessly creative, this well-known award-winning jeweler repeatedly innovates, while somehow retaining a signature style.
This latest buckle retains his characteristic overlay work and traditional symbolism, in a newly antique style. Large, angular wind motifs slash across the face of the piece with the intense energy of a rainstorm.
The incised lines on each element represent rain, which is a prayed-for blessing. The gleaming gold crosses symbolize the four corners of the earth, over which the blessing of rain, that supports life and crops, is to flow.
The silver has been darkened with a masterful touch, so that the background is thundercloud dark, while the overlaid elements are left in a lighter shade of grey.
That, together with the textures and incised lines, suggests the somber light of a rainy day. Some areas of the silver actually glisten slightly, just as rain-washed rocks would.
The bright glitter of the gold livens the palette, and hints at the sun peeking through all those clouds.
As abstract as the design seems, Kee is always influenced by the Navajo culture and lore which surround him.
Dramatic and serenely composed, both rugged and refined, this buckle is entirely hand fabricated, even to the hook. The back is glossily polished, so belts will be safe.
A marvelous combination of artistic imagination and skill, and a reverence for tradition, created by a supremely gifted jeweler. And very wearable, too, whether with jeans or suits.