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by Halley Sanford July 25, 2021 1 min read

As the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, and no one brought more truth to that phrase than Santo Domingo Pueblo jewelry artisans. 

“They were known for being innovative,” Cheryl said. “A lot of Santo Domingo pieces are Depression Era jewelry, and you know in the 1930s and ‘40s, everyone was just making do with what they had or what they could find. These jewelry makers were salvaging tiny bits of turquoise that previously would’ve been discarded and working them into mosaic designs.”

And their ingenuity goes beyond just salvaging scraps of semi-precious stones and shells and setting them into a “bigger picture” piece. They made the most of everyday items one would never expect to find in a piece of beautiful jewelry.

“They started incorporating pieces of bone, gypsum, even plastics like old vinyl records and red plastic Dairy Queen spoons, and the black vulcanite casings of old car batteries,” Cheryl explained. “Which, of course, is where these colorful creations got their nickname. These pieces were originally sold for about a dime to roadside tourists, it’s kind of poetic justice that they’re highly sought after and collectible nowadays. In fact, we’re so inspired by them that we designed them into a custom DDR print for this collection.”

The Santo Domingo Pueblos were the original ‘upcyclers’, and almost a century later, this ‘trash’ is more treasured than ever.


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