To see the elegant designs and meticulous workmanship that characterizes Wes Willie’s work, you might never guess that this award-winning artist originally trained as a welder!
He is also recognized for the quality and beauty of the stones he chooses; all these attributes are present in this spectacular bolo.
Spectacular in a refined, tasteful way, but definitely a major statement, this bolo combines sterling silver and a medley of superb, natural stones in a uniquely personal style.
The stones are solid chunks of highest quality, as is expected of Wes, but, unlike most of his pieces, in minuscule size.
They are set high in a tapered shield shape of silver, with a pointed gothic arch at the top – a singular touch in itself.
This silver shield, with its stones, is set into a shadowbox, surrounded by a darkened frame of the underlying silver base.
The gleaming silver around this inner section, is rounded, forming a convex, smoothly glittering frame. Chiseled, feather-like wings spring out at either side of the inlaid center, integrating the linear pattern of the inlay and the stones into the entire piece.
The composition of the bolo, center and outer forms alike, is a virtuoso blend of triangular, rectangular and rounded lines.
Within the inlaid stones, the earthy hues of the turquoise and variscite are enlivened by the complementary warmth of the coral, and one ivory, accents.
Midnight blue lapis anchors the variety of matrix patterns, while tiny bars of gold subtly ignite the coral.
This pot-pourri of stones is firmly contained by a horizontal bar of black jet, surmounted by one of gold.
This segues nicely into the sun-tanned beige of the fossil ivory at the top, centered by a round of deepest red coral. Tapered, cylindrical silver tips continue the general lines of the bolo, without distracting attention from the main body.
The artist’s signature inlay of glorious stones stands out, literally and figuratively, in this one-of-a-kind, exceptional bolo.
All hand-cut by the artist, all natural, and all the finest of their kind, the tiny pieces have been artfully arranged so that each complements the other, adding imperceptibly to the satisfaction of the design.
This is a major work by a major jeweler, and belongs in your collection, before a museum gets it. The artist brought it in on this brown cord, but it would be just as quietly imposing on a black one. You decide which one you prefer.