Contemporary Turquoise

Pueblo artists, including those from Zuni and Santo Domingo, continue to focus on lapidary skills—carving stone, making beads, and creating inlay—although there are many talented silversmiths among them.

As in the past, turquoise’s most common companions are silver, coral and shell, although other metals and stones are used more frequently now. Some artists produce contemporary-feeling pieces by minimizing elaboration, while others craft new styles and borrow designs from elsewhere. More obviously, jewelry today is often larger in scale than in the past, signaling abundance and luxury.

Aguilar was influenced by the jewelry he saw while stationed in the Middle East during World War II. Brass is hard to work using traditional Southwestern techniques, but he used it often. (Gift of Dicky Pfaelzer; 51857/12, Origin/Artist: Tony Aguilar, Sr. (Santo Domingo))