Jesse Monongya: Opal Bears and Lapis Skies

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Hudson Hills, 2002 - Art - 182 pages
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Lois Sherr Dubin reveals one of the finest Native American jewelers alive today. Jesse Monongya, of Navajo and Hopi heritage, is a world-renowned master of painterly inlay, whose work rivals that of the Renaissance goldsmiths. "There's a tactile sense to it. I think his jewelry also has much to do with sculpture," says one of his collectors. Monongya himself explains it as his birthright: "I grew up with beautiful songs and prayers. The way that I do things is not so much because I want to, but it was instilled in me, and that's the way it comes out."
His jewelry is fully described here for the first time, in 175 striking color plates by acclaimed photographer Togashi, as inspired by the southwestern desert landscape and traditional teachings in which he was raised - the coral sunset shading into the lapis night, an opal moon and turquoise stars in a jet sky. Monongya combines authentic concepts from his culture with cutting-edge materials and techniques. The qualities that inform his life - reciprocity, respect, and creativity - are what make him special, and his work reflects his deep desire to communicate his culture to the world at large.
  

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very original style

Contents

Acknowledgments
6
Jim Hart Carver jeweler and hereditary chief Haida Nation British Columbia
9
Diana Pardue Curator of Collections Heard Museum Phoenix
10
Susan Harnly Peterson Ceramicist educator author collector
13
The Bracelet Behind the Book
16
Growing Up Navajo Becoming Jesse
22
Learning From the Masters
56
Connecting the Old Ways with Todays Jewelry
74
Crafting the Jewels
138
lnlaying New Paths and Touching Lives
150
Chronology
176
Notes
177
Bibliography
178
lndex
179
Credits
182
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Lois Sherr Dubin is a commissioner of the Indian Arts & Crafts Board, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

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