Here is one of my latest creations. A Contemporary Belt buckle consisting of sterling silver, Black Jade and Coral. The “Spyderweb” texture on the silver is unique, all components of the buckle are hand fabricated and asselmbeled by myself. Texturing is done by placing a patterning medium ( canvas, screen, manila folder etc.) with a piece of annealed silver and putting it through a rolling mill, transferring the pattern onto the metal. Brighter results are achieved by pre polishing the silver prior to rolling.
The Friendship Necklace: A stunning and one of a kind collaboration, necklace brought together by: Sunshine Reeves, Vernon Haskie, Arland Ben, Allen Aragon, Myron Panteah, Ken Romero, Tony Abeyta, Cody Sanderson, Dawn Wallace, Chris Pruitt, Pat Pruitt, Liz Wallace and Kenneth Johnson. At Pat Pruitt’s studio all of the components that make up “The Friendship Necklace” came together. For the first time we were able to see the magnificent masterpiece as a whole. Upon completition the artists went out to shoot some photographs. Some of which are seen here and others that are to be seen on the links provided..
Thanks to all who contributed in making this adventure possible. The necklace will be auctioned at 2012 Indian Market Gala in Santa Fe, Nm on August 18th at 5pm. So mark the date on your callender..
While researching different types of smithing and applications. I found that Repousse is an interesting technique dating from Antiquity. An age-old metalworking technique where a malleable metal (gold, silver, copper, tin and bronze) is hammered from the back to create an ornate design. Also accompanying Repousse is Chasing, Chasing works from the top side by sinking the metal to create the desired effect. Astonished with the creations of forms, raised design and sunken relief, I Inquired about it a little more.. I came upon Victoria Lansford’s work, displaying her technique on High Relief Eastern Repousse. Who offers her modern-day approach to the age-old technique.. As well as an article on Ganoksin website, going into detail about techniques, tools and application.
Being the diverse artist that I am, I thought I would give it try “What do I have to lose”. I decided to make some of the basic tools on my own. For the pitch bowl: It was a salsa container purchased from Wal-Mart. Placing a piece of lead at the bottom and filling it 2/3 with quick dry cement, until it sets. Then I removed the legs on the salsa bowl giving it a round bottom. Filling the remaining area with Green pitch from Rio Grande. If utilizing the bowl with a sand bag, you can achieve a wider radius of working angles. With a little help of my brother Pat’s toys, I was able to make the basic tools out of tool steel, nail punches and ruined stamps. This was achieved by cutting, sanding, filing, polishing and flame hardening the tools.
“Now I’m ready to play” Working with my hammer, punches/tools, steel block, chasing bowl and base (sand bag). I began to work out my designs on paper, then transferring then onto the silver (annealed) with a magic marker. Using a liner tool I chase the design into the silver, on top of a steel block. In order to show the design on the back. Placing the silver onto the chasing bowl (top side down) with a little heat it will stick to the pitch. Now Im are ready to start hammering out the designs. This will be done in several process, as the metal will work harden and need to be annealed again and again.
In the pictures are my first attempts at creating a pair of earrings utilizing the Repousee technique. Dabbling for 20 min at a time, it has taken me 3 to 4 hours to get this far (just on the Repousse) Still not finished with the earrings I decided to share my experience so far with you.
This year in Indianaoplis will be the Annual Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market and Festival.. They will be celebrating there 20th year.. The show brings Native artists from across the country to meet you and share their arts. There will beadwork, drawing, jewelry, pottery, paintings, photography and sculpture just to name a few. Here are a few friends and colleagues that will be attending Aaron Brokeshoulder, Althea Cajero, Cliff Fragua, Charlene Holy Bear, Jay Jacob Livingston, Alfred Joe, Chris Pappan, Jennifer Medina, Jody Naranjo, Penny Singer, Cody Sanderson, Adrian Wall, Marcus Wall as well as myself (Chris Pruitt). Hope to see you there..
On one of my journeys to Santa Fe, I went to Tom Taylor shop in the La Fonda hotel. There you can find a slew of fine quality leather belts, sterling silver jewelry, buckles out of sterling silver, stainless steel and titanium. Along with many other fine quality leather goods. While there we (Philip and I) chatted about the new and exciting items I will be making for them, to have in the shop during the Santa Fe Indian Market festival. Some of the items they will have but not limited to: new earrings , M&M pendents, Dogtags and some inlayed buckles.. As always I had a great time talking shop with Philip and Kim Spiers. During my visit Jessica, employee for Tom Taylor took that opportunity to snap a few pictures of me in front of the shop. We had fun laughing on San Francisco street while people passed by wondering about the photos being taken.
Recently I took some time off to have my tonsils removed. Which allowed me to relax and take things slow. After recovering I made my way back into the studio. Things were slow to start, but my time away has brought up some new ideas. Here is one such design that has come to light . I still haven’t come up with a name for it yet, so in the time being it will be ” Black Jade and Diamond cuff “. It started almost 13 months ago, when I was working on a cabochon of black jade, natural Royston turquoise and coral. Spending only a few hours to cut, slab and polish these stones to create the interesting cabochon above. It sat on my desk staring me down and wondering where it would lead too next.. As time passed it was shuffled from place to place, until last week. I began to work on a silver cuff, texturing, forming, sanding and polishing the piece. When I remembered one of my recent sketches, that incorporated a cabochon of similar shape and design. The decision was made, I would combine the two. I started on the setting for the cabochon and braised it onto the new silver cuff slightly risen and off center. This design element took advantage of the rule of thirds (which I use in a majority of my work), thought to me by another great artist, teacher and friend Mrs. Jean Thurow. Next I created the seating for the 6 diamonds (2mm, 0.24 tcw) and set them into the cuff. The final stage would be to set the cabochon, this would be done by chasing the silver bezel around the stone. After one last polish and cleaning all the elements had fallen into place. At last, It was complete.
Thank you to everyone who assisted in my recovery and all who wished me well and a speedy recovery.