Highly regarded artist Michelle Tsosie Sisneros, of Santa Clara, Navajo and Laguna descent, has created a contemporary and one-of-a-kind ring with dramatic statement-making silhouette. Cripple Creek turquoise, a rare gemstone mined in Colorado, takes center stage with its lovely greenish-blue hue and brown-gold matrix. The stone is set in a stunning raised bezel of textured sterling silver and the band is stamped with contemporary details. The unique high profile of this handcrafted piece creates a bold look that truly showcases a rare gem and the artistry of Sisneros’ work.
- Ring handcrafted by Michelle Tsosie Sisneros (Santa Clara/Navajo/Laguna)
- Sterling Silver
- Cripple Creek turquoise mined in Colorado
- Size: 8.75
- Bezel measures 1" x 3/4"; ring profile 3/4" high
- Comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity
Handcrafted works of Native American art require special care. For more information about proper care and cleaning, please read our Care Guide.
Michelle Tsosie Sisneros is a highly regarded contemporary artist of Santa Clara, Navajo and Laguna descent. She is primarily a painter but she also creates innovative handcrafted jewelry and pottery. Her painting style is abstract with some surrealist influences, yet her subjects are drawn from traditional Native American themes and include Pueblo women, Yeis, clowns, deer and landscapes. Sisneros’ painting process is extremely slow and deliberate. She begins with a sponge and acrylics, giving her work its signature mottled background, then carefully sketches and paints each figure with great detail. Finally, she embellishes each painting with additional elements, such as handprints, spirals, planets and a speckled finish that she creates with a toothbrush. In her life Sisneros has overcome great adversity, including alcoholism and an abusive husband, and she says of her work, “I paint now from my soul. The images I paint are from the people who touch my life in a profound way and the Mother Earth I live on.” Sisneros is also the illustrator of a children’s book, Kokopelli’s Gift, and has a line of greeting cards, bookmarks, magnets and Christmas ornaments, many of which are hand painted. She grew up in Window Rock, Arizona in the Navajo Nation but now lives in Santa Clara Pueblo.See Featured Artist Page
Turquoise beads have been made in the Southwest for thousands of years. The Anasazi, the ancestors of today’s Pueblo Indian tribes, mined turquoise in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. Chaco Canyon, a major Anasazi center, was at the center of turquoise trade routes stretching from the Pacific Northwest to Central America. Turquoise was not set in silver until the late 19th century after Navajo and Zuni artisans learned metalsmithing. The blue and green gem quickly became a favorite with Native American silversmiths, and was extremely popular with tourists visiting the Southwest in the early 20th century. Some Native Americans believe the gem was a gift from the spirits and call it the Sky Stone. Today, turquoise is one of the most iconic images of the Southwest and beloved by Native American jewelry artists.
Today there is a vibrant community of Native American jewelers creating contemporary styles that challenge traditional forms, techniques and materials. Some artists experimented by working in gold or using gemstones like opals and diamonds that were not typically used in Native American jewelry. Others presented Native American symbols and icons in modern, stylized ways. Though artists began experimenting in the 1950s and 1960s, it was not until the 1970s that these innovative styles were embraced by the market. Since then, contemporary styles have flourished, bringing Native American jewelry to an international audience. By pushing boundaries, contemporary artists have truly elevated the technical expertise and sophistication of Native American jewelry, bringing it to level of couture fashion and fine art.Read our Native American Jewelry Collector's Guide.
At Shumakolowa Native Arts, we guarantee that your purchase is an original and authentic work handcrafted by Native American artists as defined by the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. Our team of experts carefully inspects every product to guarantee it is handcrafted using traditional, sustainable processes and natural materials of only the highest quality. We work directly with artists or partner with trusted wholesalers who can provide documentation that their artists and artisans are of Native American heritage. We record the place and date of each purchase and pride ourselves in paying a fair price that allows artists to make a living practicing their craft. Every work of handcrafted art comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by an artist or buyer. At a time when many commercially-made products are being sold as handcrafted Native American art, we stand behind the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have developed lasting relationships with artists, dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.