White Clam Necklace with "Battery Bird" Thunderbird Pendant by Nestoria Coriz - A vintage Nestoria piece! Southwestern Santo Domingo-style jewelry is not only beautiful but resourceful! Imitating the classic 1940s era, when battery bird necklaces were crafted from tiny turquoise scraps, bits of gypsum, and various found resins and plastics, like vinyl records or battery casings. Crafted in the traditional style, this thunderbird colorfully graces its position among small Heishi clam shell beads with accents of turquoise along its length of 30".
Nestoria Coriz began learning all facets of heishi, bead and stone work from her paternal grandparents, Santiago and Trinidad Pena, at the age of 6. Her first tasks were to buff stones on buckskin floor rugs. At that time, there was little if any electrical power at the Santo Domingo Pueblo, therefore, all jewelry work was created by hand.
Nestoria’s grandfather was a four-time governor of the pueblo and her son Daniel, also an artist, is the current Governor.
As a teenager in the early 1960s, Nestoria learned to make silver jewelry when she began working in Albuquerque alongside her father, Lupe Pena. The design and construction she developed are uniquely her own. Nestoria uses the highest grade of stones and shells. She uses all types of turquoise, including Turquoise Mountain, Blue Gem, Sleeping Beauty, Morenci, Royston, Carica Lake, as well as all shades of spiny oyster, gaspeite, Acoma jet, various corals, lapis, abalone, and faustite. She makes her own sterling silver findings (cones, hooks eyes) as well as the silver disks, barrels and beds used in her pieces.
Nestoria has created numerous award-winning necklace designs, including her matching drop pendants and distinctive inlaid silver barrel hoops.
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