San Juan (Ohkay Owingeh) Pueblo, b.1946
Mike Bird-Romero is a self-taught contemporary jeweler whose deep knowledge and respect of traditional silverwork is reflected in his pieces. Born in San Juan Pueblo in northern New Mexico, he was raised in a household that valued artistic pursuits. His grandmother, Luteria Atencio was a potter who has pieces in the Smithsonian while his mother Lorencita Bird was a well-known and respected textile artist.
With his wife Allison, he has thoroughly researched antique pieces of Native American jewelry, exploring the ancient sites. (Allison Bird-Romero’s book on dragonfly-cross pendants led to his revival of classic dragonfly necklaces.) They feel that replicating styles from the past is a way to learn the processes of jewelry making. Romero combines stones and metal in simple yet dramatic forms, producing highly desirable earrings, bracelets, pins and other accessories. For his petroglyph pins, he sketches the dynamic shapes found on canyon walls at San Juan Pueblo where he lives and Barrier Canyon in Utah. Petroglyphs, dramatic visual artifacts left by early tribes, like his other motifs, portend mystique and magic.
His hallmark, found on the back of his pieces, is two small birds