Native American Artists: Jewelers « back to artist list
Alex and Marylita Boone, Zuni Jewelers
The work of Alex and Marylita Boone is a refinement of a centuries-old Native American jewelry tradition. As far back as a thousand years ago, mosaics of colorful stone and shell were overlaid on seashells, wood, and other material. Today, the Boones create complex designs set in silver with fine mosaic inlay workmanship. Alex does the soldering and Marylita sets the jet (black), which forms the borders. Alex then sets the remaining stones, and sands and buffs the piece, but he says that Marylita's task of setting the black jet "is the most important part of forming the design."
Both Alex's and Marylita's parents were jewelers, and the Boones have now taught all five of their children. Alex says, "I hope my grandchildren will carry on the tradition."
The pieces shown here are inlaid with turquoise, coral, jet and gold lip mother-of-pearl. Courtesy Turquoise Village, Zuni, New Mexico.