A Choctaw, who has lived, worked and learned in California for many years, George Willis is nationally noted for remarkable, unusual jewelry using exotic materials. Like these handsome earrings.
Dentalium shell is a kind of seashell, specifically the shells of certain mollusks. Dentalium shells were used by Inuit, First Nations, and Native Americans as an international trade item, and are found along the western coast of Canada and along the Pacific Ocean coast of the United States extending southward to Southern California.
Here, he has topped the graceful tapered shell with a bright blue turquoise, and finished the bottom edges of the natural porcupine quills that dangle from the shells, with smaller bits of the same turquoise. Look closely, and you can see that the shells are actually translucent; the toasty brown and gold quills are barely visible inside.Always surprising – in a lovely way – George Willis’ jewelry is like no other, and always has a hint of his Plains heritage, like the quills. Enjoy the special look and wonderful updating of old, old, traditions.