A young (20-something) member of the extended Peina family of noted Zuni jewelers, his work is striking in design and meticulous in execution.
Here, he created a delicate, very original ring that features an oval chunk of copper, instead of stone!
The surface is polished, but a slim crescent of patinated green shows on one side. A wide, polished silver bezel holds the copper nugget.
Free-form and full of fantasy, the shank incorporates an openwork spiral, next to the center copper, linked to a tiny 14-karat gold dot.
The rest of the shank is cut into a rounded, stepped outline, with an overlaid band of polished silver that flows from a stepped beginning around to the back, like flowing water.
Under this swoop of silver, the bottom layer of silver is textured to resemble rainfall.
Despite its unique, contemporary look, this ring still references tradition, with its suggestion of water – a great blessing to the land-locked Zuni – in the sinuous form of the shank, the rounded stepped forms, and the water spiral.
That tiny golden circle suggests the sun, creating a desired balance of nature: rain and sun that together encourage thriving crops.
Abe has explained that this ring represents the journey through life, starting with the journey symbol, and moving through the various ups and downs that life throws at you, hence the name “Stepping Stones”.
Tradition aside, this is a stunningly creative ring, that is easy to wear and will make an impression, everywhere.