This Zuni jeweler learned silversmithing from his grandmother and his mother. However, his intention has been to veer away from the Zuni lapidary tradition, and work with various silver and gold techniques, with unusual stones. Also civic-minded, he founded the Zuni Cultural Arts Council. He regularly shows at Santa Fe Indian Market, where he won first prize in “Contemporary Use of Material”, a few years ago.
This beautiful pendant shows his mastery of silver work, including chiseling, The large rectangle marvelously figured stone is a natural agate, with a haunting variation in neutral hues and shapes. The strict angular form is softened by the fan of stylized feathers that dangles from it, and the textured silver waves that curl above it.
Minuscule chisel work adorns the thin silver band that flanks each side of the agate, continuing to form a slightly curved triangle that supports the gleaming bail. The shiny bail echoes the high polish of the feathery fan at the bottom.
With a variety of textures and shapes, this is a striking, very pretty pendant. The range of grey and brown neutrals in the stone make it very wearable. This is the new, chic look of Zuni jewelry, with well-cut remarkable stones, just like the old days – but not the usual ones, joining them to superior silver work, in innovative designs.