Phil Loretto

Jemez Pueblo

Beautiful, intricate and full of symbolism Phil Loretto's jewelry dazzles the eye. His work is intertwined with history both personal and mythological. "In Santa Fe, New Mexico, artists sell their work on the plaza. Its a marketplace that's been there since the Spanish came. I started selling jewelry there from the time I was about four or five. It's a good place to sell to the tourists, and it's a good way to make money. But you ask yourself, What's my objective? Is this going to be my destiny?'

"I read a lot; it's one of my passions. I got my first library card when I was five. I would read five books a week on Native American culture. Later I majored in Southwest studies and in art. I guess I've recorded history in my jewelry, because I draw what goes on in Pueblo life or in Navajo life-the traditional dances and people working in their fields. I incorporate a lot of myths and legends from South American, Mexican and Canadian Indians in my jewelry."