After seeing lots of both contemporary and antique pieces, I realized that I was always drawn to the overlay technique used by Hopi artisans. A design is pierced from flat sheet silver and then soldered onto another darkened, textured sheet of silver. Zuni needle point jewelry makes my heart beat a bit faster too, but I love the clean, graphic quality of the overlay. Piercing flat sheet is my favorite technique for embellishment, so it's not much of a surprise that I love Hopi jewelry!
In Flagstaff (awesome little town), I stopped in at the Painted Desert Trading Co. and found a darling little brooch made by the artist Ricky Coochwytewa:
This guy is a Mudhead Kachina, one of the spirits of the Hopi religion and a clown figure who interacts and plays games with audiences at Hopi ceremonies. The brooch is only 1 3/4 inches tall, so all that detail in such a small area is really impressive.
Painted Desert also had some other really nice pieces:
|Eagle belt buckle by Darren Seweyestewa|
|Lots of Zuni needle point brooches!|
|I didn't get the artist's name for this little guy.|