Handmade Native American Pipestone & Gaspiete Mosaic Earrings by Kewa Artist Rena Owen
Artist: Kewa artist Rena Owen
Dimensions: 2" x 3/4"
Materials: Sterling Silver, Pipestone, Gaspiete
Mosaic inlay jewelry is a signature style of Santo Domingo jewelers. Artists create mosaic inlay by attaching tiny gemstone tiles to a shell or gemstone base, forming colorful and unique patterns. The technique can be traced back to early forms of jewelry unearthed at Ancestral Puebloan (formerly referred to as Anasazi) sites throughout the Southwest, and many artists model their inlay designs after these early artifacts. Angie Reano Owen is credited with reviving the tradition of inlay jewelry in Santo Domingo Pueblo in the 1970s, and today Santo Domingo mosaic inlay is one of the jewelry styles most sought after by collectors of Native American art. Shell mosaic is a trademark style of Santo Domingo jewelry, drawing on a tradition dating back many centuries. Many modern Pueblo artists consciously style their inlaid jewelry after styles and patterns unearthed by archaeological research, found in rock art or on display in museums. The necklace shown is an old inlaid shell combined with modern beads by a Santo Domingo artisan. Not all Santo Domingo inlay is based on ancient traditions. Modern inlay artists break from the past by using nontraditional colors such as green and purple, materials such as plastic and imagery such the U.S. flag.