Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bringing Home The Blue Ribbon

(click on image to enlarge)

As I wrote earlier, Sandy and I felt like two kids at a State Fair at the 87th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market. In fact, had you seen Sandy carrying home the blue ribbon with her happy, confident smile, you might have thought she'd just won it for a competitive mince meat pie or pickle competition. But no, the true prize belonged to the husband and wife team of Ruddell and Nancy Lanconsello of Zuni, New Mexico. Blue Ribbons for superior jewelry creations are commonplace in their lives. They've been winning them for more than a quarter of century. The ribbon pictured was awarded for the fabulous sterling silver concho link belt they entered this year. It was a thrill for us to acquire this stunning belt, and we were absolutely delighted to meet both artists for the first time at this year's show. The belt is 10 ounces, each concho is 2 inches in diameter, and the belt measures 32 1/3 inches in overall length. The belt is a product of an overlay, inlay technique. Designs are first drawn on paper then cut out in silver and placed over a base sheet of sterling. The colorful gem stones are then individually cut and inlaid with tight precision. They are then indivdiually etched to add additional depth. Appraised value of concho belt: $12,000. Blue Ribbon Thrill: well you've heard the commercials. Matching Bird Image with gemstone depictions; well that's fun too, the list includes: Blue crowned Motmot, Toco Toucan, Hyacinth Macaw, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Blue and Gold Macaw, Gould's Finch, Scarlet Macaw, Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, Greater Bird of Paradise, and Cock of the Rock.