Perry Shorty, Navajo, b. 1964
Perry Shorty uses traditional techniques to create jewelry in a style that might be defined as a revival of the elegant classic jewelry of the 1940s. I try to keep things simple, he says. The old smiths didnt have a lot of tools and materials to work with, and I like doing it their way.
His ideas come from studying early jewelry in museums and galleries, and at fairs where the Navajo people wear their old jewelry. Yet each piece is unique. I often design a piece as I go along, he explains, not knowing exactly how the finished piece will look until it nears completion. On the other hand, I sometimes know just what I want from the start. I try to work with the stones they dictate the style.