Ayóó Nizhóní

Lady love Adrienne Keene, of Native Appropriations, commissioned me to create a pair of earrings for her adviser. First, totally humbled that she’d ask. But it was befitting that she request a pair for a woman that provided much strength, encouragement, and guidance during her most recent academic journey. Adrienne graduates with her Ph.D. in Education from Harvard next week.

This one-of-a-kind set is called “4th World Emergence Imagined” because it truly showcases the equal amount of creativity and skill of my collaboration with Jeff Slim.

The top section of each earring is a silver bezel inlaid with the four sacred stones: white shell, turquoise, abalone, and jet. Both earrings have a different inlay pattern. Each stone was given great attention and care. At the end, I smiled realizing my lapidary design harked back to childhood memories of my dad’s late 1970s/ early 1980’s jewelry style. That made me happy.

The bottom section is from the NOTABOVE x JSLIM earring collaboration. Adrienne requested the bottom in copper due to its connection with most Southeastern jewelry designs. (For more about Southeastern designs, I highly recommend Kristen Dorsey Designs blog!) See the story behind Slim’s design, “4th World Emergence,” here.

In all, it was an ayóó nizhóní “(very beautiful) project! I’m so glad Adrienne loved it. Much Love and Congrats to DR. AK. Or, AK, Ph.D!!


PHONE PHOTOS, below: The photos below don’t capture the copper well.


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