A Posting by Malcolm Bob, BUSI Intern
Each of the Navajo Cultural Arts Certificate students project a unique personality. Everyone of them stands out in their own way. They have consistently displayed the dedication they have to their craft. Conversing with the students over the past weeks has shown what type of person they are when working their pieces.
Every artisan takes pride in certain aspects of their work. For Carlon P. Ami, he prides himself on precision and style. He contradicts himself by either creating pieces in the classic Navajo Style or taking an extremely contemporary turn. Carlon loves to use thick and heavy silver in his work and the finished products show why. He pays arduous attention to every detail of every piece. Carlon mentions that he wants to make pieces that are different. His intent is to make something that no one else is making.
I was lucky enough to have an early view of one of Carlon’s recent projects. After a conversation with him about the NCAP website, he offered to drive home, which he said was just down the road, to bring over a bracelet he had recently completed. Fifteen minutes later, he came with two bracelets, one complete with stones and the other with the stones removed. He then told me the story of his two bracelets.
The bracelet is undeniably beautiful but he stated it isn’t prefect. Carlon showed me a couple of areas of the bracelet that he is not particularly happy with. He said if he was making it for sale he would been more precise. The stamping on the bezels surrounding the stones did not meet perfectly. There are spots where the seam between the bezel and base plate is obvious. Carlon stated that the first bracelet is always a prototype, the second is always perfect. He uses prototypes to investigate new design ideas and to develop the technique necessary to bring the design to fruition.
Carlon shared with me a lot about his technique and the sourcing of his materials. He is definitely an Emerging Artist who will benefit the Navajo Cultural Arts Program as much as the program benefits him.
If you are interested in checking out some more of Carlon’s work that is for sale please visit the Smoking Trails Arts and Craft at the Hopi Cultural Center in Shungopovi or the Museum of Northern Arizona Gift Shop in Flagstaff.