A few years back I had the opportunity to buy a large amount of jewelry at a wholesale price to sell on ebay and amazon. These pieces were not ours and we did not try to sell them as if they were, but I was surprised how much non “Native American Jewelry” was available as I bought true Native American made jewelryd.
The work I am referring to was from China, the turquoise was chinese and the work wasn’t very good. Please don’t misunderstand me, there are awesome jewelers in the country of China. I have seen their work first hand, I know they have a ton of skill. However what I saw was not very well done and so I make reference to it here.
My first thought was pretty plain. This jewelry is going to kill the market and the art will die. That same year was the first year that we attended the Santa Fe Indian Market. My eyes were opened at that show. Hearing about it doesn’t do it justice. The scale of the show matches that scale of the artist. It is a show case of talent for sure.
After that weekend, I changed my thoughts about the art fading away. I now think it is bigger than ever, however there is a separation that is taking place. You have the “big show artist”, and then you have the artist that create for the masses. There is tons of talent in both arenas, but the “big show artist” doesn’t sell jewelry anywhere else. He or she will work all year on just the 2-4 shows a year and then take orders from private buyers. It actually really impressive.
Within our family we have both kinds of artist and I love the diversity. We don’t really place a lot of our private buyer pieces on the www.redhandjewelry.com, we usually post those on www.theturquoiseloft.com. If there is an interest then stope on in and look at some of what we are posting there.