Monday, September 29, 2008

Andrea Lonjose Shirley

Andrea Lonjose Shirley's lapidary work has no equal that I'm aware of. A distinctive feature of Zuni jewelry is exacting fit that often goes beyond what one expects of mere mortal hands. The casual observer might mistake the piece shown as a masterful example of a small Champlevé painting. Champlevé is an enamel technique in which troughs are carved into the surface of a metal framework then filled with a vitreous enamel. The piece is then fired until the enamel melts then polished after cooling. The "Zuni Ball Eye Kachina" shown is inlaid on sterling silver with mother of pearl, acoma jet, coral, and sleeping beauty turquoise. On close-up inspection there is no mistaking it for a Champlevé piece. It stands 3.5 inches tall and can be worn as pin or pendant. Cost = $599.00.