Thunderbird NecklaceStephanie Medina
Inlaying bits of stone and shell has been a traditional Pueblo form of jewelry for a millennium, at least.
This same tradition has been updated with finer workmanship and, usually, the addition of sterling silver, by the daughter of the late, respected jeweler Rose Medina.
However, in this eye-popping necklace, Stephanie has gone “neo-retro”. Not an oxymoron, this strikingly beautiful necklace revives the old thunderbird design, where bits of phonograph records were used, that was a response to wartime shortages of men and materials, during and after WWII.
True to her creative impulses, she has created her own, contemporary, version of this historic style.
This necklace is a tribute to the past, and her grandmother, the late Eliza Chavez, who was noted for this style, and who started eight-year-old Stephanie on her career.
Demonstrating the artist’s eye for vivid color, dramatic design and fine workmanship, this necklace keeps true to the traditional colors of turquoise, red, black and mother-of-pearl.
So what’s new? Black onyx stands in for the phonograph records; natural apple coral instead of red coral, and all the materials are composed in a stunning, modern design that is personal; therefore different and unique.
The workmanship is flawless; lines are straight, every bit of stone or shell is precisely and seamlessly placed. The thunderbird is set in black onyx, with a shaft of apple coral attaching it to the necklace, in the back.
Despite the graphic contrasts and colors, this necklace is functionally neutral – it will spark almost every outfit, in every season.
“Everything old is new again”, and this is a superb example of keeping the old, while transforming it into something new and up-to-date.
Visually stunning, with equally fine execution, this necklace is vibrant, dramatic, and versatile. The past never looked so good.