By Alex Dawkins
Posted in News, on April 09, 2020
The first of its kind, the book Understanding Northwest Coast Indigenous Jewelry was just recently released. As beautiful as it is useful, this new book is an invaluable tool for anyone interested in learning about or deepening their understanding of a fascinating craft.
Indigenous hand-engraved jewelry from the Pacific Northwest Coast is among the most distinctive, innovative, and highly sought-after art being produced in North America today. But these artworks are more than just stunning—every bracelet, ring, and pendant is also the product of a fascinating backstory, a specialized set of techniques, and a talented artist.
With a clearly written text, a foreword by award-winning First Nations artist Corrine Hunt, and more than one hundred striking color photographs and sidebars, Understanding Northwest Coast Indigenous Jewelry offers an illuminating look at an exquisite craft and the context in which it is practiced.
Providing a step-by-step overview of various techniques, the book also introduces the specifics of formline design, highlights the traits of the most common animal symbols used, offers tips for identification, and features biographies and works from over fifty of the Coast’s best-known jewelers. Finally, it delves into the history of the art form, from the earliest horn and copper cuff bracelets to cutting-edge contemporary works and everything in between.
Alexander Dawkins is a co-owner of Lattimer Gallery, which specializes in contemporary Northwest Coast art and promotes the work of emerging artists. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History with a focus on Indigenous art; a master’s degree in Art History; and a master’s degree in Library and Archival Science.