Book Look: Southwestern Indian Rings by Paula A. Baxter

Like Paula Baxter states in her Dedication, I never feel “fully dressed without wearing at least one Navajo or Pueblo ring.”

In my case, sometimes I just have to wear more !  Being a Native American ring aficionado, I found this book an interesting reference.

In over 350 color photographs (taken by her husband Barry Katzen), Paula shows historic and contemporary rings made by Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Santo Domingo artists and more.  The photos here in my article are not from Paula Baxter’s book – they are photos of my personal rings and some from the store where I work.

Unmarked vintage turquoise – likely Navajo

 

 

 

 

Coral by Rose Castillo Draper, Navajo

 

 

Larry Pooyouma, Hopi

Sidney Sekakuku Jr. – Hopi

Richard and Geneva Terrazas, Zuni

Morris and Sadie Laahte, Zuni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents of the Book

The Design and Appeal of Southwestern Indian Rings

Materials and Methods of Ring Construction

Historical Rings: Pre-Contact to 1930

Vintage Rings, 1930-1979: The Age of Experimentation

Master Innovator

Artistic Adornment: 1980 to Present

It is in the Master Innovator section that she shows and discusses work by Dan Simplicio, Fred Peshlakai, Lee Yazzie, Charles Loloma, Jesse Monongya, Kenneth Begay and others.

Contemporary artists include Sonwai and Arland Ben to mention just a few.

Besides displaying rings in the customary silver and turquoise, there are a number of rings showing other materials including variscite, pink coral, sugilite, petrified wood, ironwood, fossilized ivory, opal, jade, azurite, fire agate as well as many other agates, jasper, tortoise shell and more.

Jasper

White Buffalo Stone by Freddy Charley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother of Pearl by Rose Castillo Draper, Navajo

Lapis by Navajo Bennie Ration

 

Natural Royston Turquoise by Navajo Walter Vandever

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paula

 

 

 

 

Navajo Inlaid Knives by Doris Yazzie

Navajo silversmith Doris Yazzie purchases various knives, usually Buck or Schrade, that have wooden handles.

She then replaces portions of the wood with beautiful inlays of turquoise, lapis lazuli, coral, mother of pearl, acoma jet and sterling silver channels.

She adds her hallmark “DY” to one of the blades as well as “NAVAJO”.

What a good idea !!

Looking for a Peterson Johnson Pendant

Paula,

I have three pendant necklaces from Peterson Johnson and am looking for a fourth one. I love his designs and the store I had purchased them from in Wilkes Barre, PA no longer sells them. I love the blue turquoise, or green stones if possible. Do you carry anything like this, or know where I could find one?

Thanks, Kim

Hi Kim,

We just got in a batch of beautiful stone pendants made by Peterson Johnson. You can see them all by visiting the Stone Pendant Page but here are a few samples. His work is exceptional and unmistakable.

Paula


Lapis Pendant by Navajo artist Peterson Johnson, complete with hand made chain

Denim Lapis Pendant by Navajo artist Peterson Johnson

Navajo silversmith Peterson Johnson’s work is unique and amazing

Navajo silversmith Peterson Johnson

Peterson Johnson is a self-taught Navajo artist who has won numerous awards throughout the Southwest and whose work is sought by collectors around the world. He was born in 1956 and began creating silverwork in 1976. He is very well known for his traditional Navajo jewelry, which shows meticulous workmanship and has a distinctive Peterson flair.

Peterson is known among fellow artists as “the machine” because he is SO meticulous in every detail of his work. The box clasps on his bracelet watches, for example, are finely tuned works of art. All of his jewelry is crafted with skill and precision to last a lifetime and be passed along to many generations.

Watch Bracelet by Peterson Johnson

Rhodochrosite Ring by Navajo silversmith Peterson Johnson

Kingman Turquoise braclet by Peterson Johnson

Lapis Bracelet by Peterson Johnson

Peterson and his wife Alyce live in Gallup, New Mexico and travel to art fairs and pow wows year round throughout the USA displaying Peterson’s silver work and Alyce’s beadwork.