lthough contemporary in nature, my jewelry designs from the beginning held links to the past, particularly in the use of turquoise. In my first major collection, “Primavera,” launched in 1995, I combined large gemstones with sterling silver and leather to create timeless, fashionable pieces. The jewelry and accessories from this collection, each handmade and one-of-a-kind, remain some of my most popular.

…Initially, some 45 years ago, I drew my inspirations from Native American jewelry. However, I soon discovered that my forte was in designing and producing the Western American buckle. As a result, my business grew nationally and internationally, allowing my expansion into unique jewelry design and development.

From the New World Collection, “Santa Fe 400” employs mythology to explore universal mysteries inherent to humanity. Commemorating the 400th anniversary of the city of Santa Fe in 2010, the designs once again bridge the old and new, incorporating silver and gold interpretations of Spanish Colonial Coinage. To my surprise, the overwhelming emotional response to these innovative yet classical designs realized my greatest success to date.

Also part of the New World Collection, “Plus Ultra” explores universal statements and evokes the infinite; while “Primal Diamonds” employs raw diamonds uniquely embedded within silver and gold. “Al Fresco” and “Excelsior” revisit contemporary interpretations of classical symbols and themes.

Handmade tools

My newest collection, “Constellations,” uses handmade tools to create waves and swirls, referencing at once both the sea and the cosmos.

Throughout, I’ve remained committed to several favorite collections, including “Boneyard” and “Diamond Plate.” Since my first “El Muerto” buckle, created in 1990 for rock star Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, the skull has triggered my imagination, resulting in skull buckles and jewelry using silver, gold, and gemstones.

…Also around 1990, I discovered and became fascinated with a variety of diamond plate in Mexico that uses cross-shapes punctuated with dash knurls. As with the skull motif in “Boneyard,” the pattern haunted me. Once again, I channeled history through my jewelry, creating “Diamond Plate,” a collection that reinterprets a commonplace design used in countless automotive, industrial, and railroad-related fabrications.

Cerrillos Turquoise

Within all of these collections, I use turquoise from Cerrillos, Kingman, and other natural sources, preferring, in most cases, to cut my own stones. I make handmade tools and unique design elements, creating evocative, timeless compositions, all handcrafted by Magnus Studios in Santa Fe, New Mexico.