John West Necklace
An exquisite and hard to find hammered sterling silver panel chain necklace with bold turquoise pendant by Santa Fe jeweler John West (1930-2000). Numbered 264 and dated 1974. Chain 24", pendant 1.5" x 3". Overall weight 113 grams.
Born near Santa Fe in 1930, John's father was the WPA artist Hal West, well-known for his woodblock prints and oil paintings. John grew up in the vibrant Santa Fe art scene and at the age of 14 began to make jewelry out of copper scraps and bits of turquoise from the old Tiffany mines near the family ranch. He apprenticed with Karl Larsson, a master silver and gold smith from Sweden.
During his lifetime, John owned The West Gallery just off Canyon Road in Santa Fe, began the artists' cooperative in Tesuque called Shidoni which later became the Shidoni Foundry and Sculpture Garden
John West's pieces of jewelry are each statements in themselves. Bold, singular designs combine highly textured metals of brass and copper, silver and copper, with gems of turquoise, lapis lazuli, fire agate and opals. His jewelry is both simple and complex - or perhaps, complex organized somehow into dramatic but simple.
Each piece is unique. He never duplicated his work, saying: "Art is an original creation; craft is when you make the second."