Monday, August 30, 2010

The Shop Has A New Look!

This summer has been busy in the shop! We've redecorated with new colors for the walls, which accents the artwork beautifully, vertical blinds and a new old-style Kachina doll display that is very customer friendly.  Many thanks go out to Bruce McGee, Larissa Curtis and Alison Eich who made it all happen.

So come on down and see our new look in person!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Charles Loloma

18K, diamonds and Mediterranean coral
pendant and ring set by Charles Loloma (Hopi)
The Shop recently acquired a phenomenal pendant and ring set by Native American jewelry icon Charles Loloma (Hopi) and it just went online for all to see!

Here's a bio:
Charles Loloma was born in 1921 on the Hopi Reservation at the village of Hotevilla at Third Mesa, Arizona. His parents, Rex and Rachel Loloma were accomplished artists in their own right. His name, Loloma is the masculine word for beauty in the Hopi language. He was a member of the Badger Clan and throughout his life stayed very involved in Hopi ceremonies and community.

Loloma was an early prodigy and studied under Fred Kabotie at Hopi High School in Oraibi and, recognizing his talent, Fred invited Loloma to work with him on the Awatovi murals at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, after which he went on to study at the Phoenix Indian school under Lloyd Kiva New, one of the founders of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1941, he was drafted for WWII and spent 3 years of his service in the Aleutians working as a camouflage expert. After his discharge, he attended the School for American Craftsmen at Alfred University in New York where he studied ceramics, which was traditionally a woman’s art in Hopi culture and began Loloma’s lifelong habit of breaking boundaries.

In 1949, he returned to Hopi to study the indigenous clays of the area through a Whitney Foundation Fellowship. When the fellowship was almost up, he decided to join his former teacher Lloyd Kiva New at his newly formed Kiva Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, an arts center, which for the first time, created a workplace and an outlet for Native American artists to deal directly with the public rather than through trading post dealers. It was in this creative and open climate that Loloma turned his attention to metals, teaching himself basic techniques from the book, The Navajo and Pueblo Silversmiths by John Adair. As an artist whose first training was in painting, Loloma did not follow traditional styles of metalworking. He treated the metal and stones, many of which had never been used in Native American jewelry but are commonly used today, as a painter and a sculptor (from his training in ceramics), building colorful abstractions of form and design that pushed the boundaries of what jewelry could be. His work, in fact, was so innovative that it was initially poorly received as not being “Indian” enough and was rejected by the Gallup Intertribal Art Show 3 times. He went on later to win the Scottsdale National Indian Art Exhibition 7 years in a row. He had 2 shows in Paris, was featured on PBS in 1972 and was an artist in residence in Japan in 1974.

He was one of the artists whose ideas helped lead to the founding of the Southwest Indian Arts Project, which led to the creation of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he taught for 3 years. After he left there, Loloma returned home to Hotevilla and continued to create. His niece Verma Naquetewa became his apprentice and they worked together for 23 years. During Loloma’s 30 year career, he was celebrated internationally and included in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Art. He died in 1991.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Man in the Maze

Man in the Maze coiled plaque by Lorraine Lopez
(Tohono O'odham)
The Man in the Maze is an honored symbol for Tohono O'odham, Gila and Salt River tribes of the American southwest. The image has a long history in the southwest and dates at least to the late Hohokam period, approximately 14th C. An example can be seen at the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument near Coolidge, AZ.

There is no definitive meaning assigned to the image and it has been interpreted as alternately representing: the emergence story of the Tohono O'odham people, the home of the creator of the Tohono O'odham, I'itoi, and the journey of life and pursuit of one's goals. Tohono O'odham basket makers began using the image as early as 1900 and it has come to serve as an icon for the Tohono O'odham people today.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Item of the Week

Daniel "Sunshine" Reeves was in a few weeks ago and brought a beautiful selection of silver seed pots.  He starts out with flat silver sheet, which he hand stamps to create unique designs on each pot.  No two are alike.  His precision is truly amazing.  Once the silver is stamped, he cuts the discs out and domes them (it takes 2 domed discs to make each seed pot, and yes- the bottoms are decorated just as intricately as the tops).  The domed edges are sanded until they are flat.  The two pieces are fit carefully together on their edges and soldered with silver solder.  The solder joint is filed and sanded until it is invisible then the entire piece is sanded and polished to a shine.  It's a lot of work!

We currently have these two online and more in the store. Click here to see all our seedpots.