This very unusual Native artist creates very unusual Native jewelry. First of all, she is Shawnee, a Plains tribe noted mostly for beadwork. Then, she spent her childhood in New Zealand, has lived, learned and experienced in many different places, but lives and works in New Mexico now. These multi-cultural, multifaceted influences have resulted in a very beautiful, very individual style. She works in silver (and gold), but embraces stones from all over the world. Her work is characteristically dainty, feminine and elegantly lacy. – like this enchanting necklace.
Decorative, delicate silver work surrounds a collection of ancient Roman glass fragments. Yes, that Ancient Rome – the legendary civilization that conquered half the world thousands of years ago, including the present area of Israel, where these pieces were found. Beautifully varied, owing to time and the chemistry of the different types of glass, these rounds were originally beads, probably in a necklace, as well. The artist has plugged the original holes with little pearls, adding to the rich look of the piece.
Colors range from deep charcoal to a translucent greyish cream, to a gorgeous, sparkly teal, and a variety of greens and subtle hard-to-define translucent hues, in between. The various ancient beads are a bit different in transparency and texture, owing to the passage of time. Each bead is surrounded by a different design of textured silver, and the links are a little mini-double chain of hand made silver.
The filigree silver surrounds are similar, but different, around each bead, and there are etched designs on the silver backs. The artist has said she “likes to doodle” and these etched “doodles” range from the traditional water spiral, to hearts, to words – Pax (Peace, in Latin), Veritas (Truth), and Love – and her signature. The variety of shapes, colors, and silver curlicues result in Shawn’s recognizable style: deliciously, ravishingly feminine, and joyous. The effect is delightfully pretty; the glass is unusual and beautiful, the silver work is playful – even a bit giddy.
Just think, with this necklace, you will be wearing the same beads that a lady in a draped toga wore, two thousand years ago, during the lifetime of Jesus! Not just another beautiful bracelet: gorgeous, and much more.
Sterling Silver, 2000 Year Old Roman Glass, Pearl, 14k Gold
Length: 17 1/2″