Friends Studio Tour: Laguna Pueblo
May 27 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm$30
Join the Friends of the Wheelwright for studio tours in Laguna Pueblo!
- Christopher Pruitt, Jeweler
- Pat Pruitt, Metalsmith
Friends Members: $ 30 | Public (Non Friends Members): $ 40
Carpool available. Will be arranged in May 2020.
Lunch as a group (optional) at Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque after the tours.
Christopher Pruitt (http://chrispruittjewelry.com/)
Chris Pruitt was raised in Laguna Pueblo and continues to live in the village of Paguate. He began his work as a silversmith in 2006 when his “love for rocks, and working with metal was transformed into beautiful and unique pieces of jewelry.” He was mentored by his older brother Pat Pruitt and by family friend Charlie Bird.
Chris’ jewelry represents a contemporary style of silversmithing with a traditional touch. His techniques include but not limited to: fabricating, brazing, texturing, polishing and cutting and inlay of precious and semi-precious stones and wood.
He has won First Place Awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market, Eiteljorg Museum Indian Fair & Market, and Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market.
Along with his work as a Silversmith, Chris holds the title of Personal Chef backed by his Le Cordon Bleu training.
Pat Pruitt (http://www.patpruitt.com/man.shtml)
Pat Pruitt currently resides in the village of Paguate, on Laguna Pueblo.
His occupational hazard for 15 years running, has been owning, operating and managing Custom Steel Body Jewelry (www.customsteel.com) making stainless steel body jewelry for the body piercing industry. This was his start in working with stainless steel, specifically type 316LVM, 316L and 316.
Making jewelry started 20 years ago when Pat was fortunate enough to study under a local silversmith, Greg Lewis. Working in traditional materials (silver, copper) learning traditional repousse techniques (stamp and hammer), this gave him a firm foundation in jewelry fabrication, tool development, and general craftsmanship. Several years later, he met Charlie Bird, another esteemed jeweler from Paguate. He taught Pat a different view on silver work and aesthetics of jewelry design.
During his college years at Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX), Pat studied Mechanical Engineering and landed a position in a prototype machine shop building one-of-a-kind components for various mechanical devices. This apprenticeship was a true eyeopener. Learning the skills of a machinist was a blessing. Pat thanks Geroge Sabolski for taking the time to teach him.
Acquiring all these skills eventually lead to the startup and growth of his current business, Custom Steel. Yet after many years producing jewelry for body piercing, Pat still craved making personal adornment like he had in years past.
It was only until recently that he felt comfortable introducing a new medium, style and technique (along with tons of encouragement from friends and artists a like) into a market that is solely defined by what native art “should” be. This time using a different skill set and utilizing a material that was familiar to him (stainless steel). His designs still have traditional native undertones, with a contemporary edge. Coupled with influences both on and off the reservation, industrial design, and limitations forced onto him by the material of choice.
Pruitt won “Best of Show” at the 2017 Santa Fe Indian Market for a sculpture based on traditional pot (pictured).