Tufa cast earrings by Tim Herrera
“I love working with my hands. I have learned to use them since I was very young and I value them greatly. I feel they are among my greatest assets. In my time on this earth I have done artwork in many forms including drawing, painting, ceramics and sculpture, although jewelry is my main focus. I am the son of a Cochiti Pueblo drum maker and also known for this traditional art form.
My inspirations are many; from my pueblo upbringing to my everyday life. I spend a lot of time outdoors being both an avid fisherman and a hunter. As in my traditional pueblo culture I find great inspiration in the natural world. Everything outdoors speaks to me, from the sounds and the fluid motion of a stream, to the wind blowing through the leaves of a tree. To the birds in the sky, the mammals that walk this earth and the fish in the waters, all of these find their way in to my works at times.
I am not a traditional jeweler for the most part, although some of my works are. I like to experiment with various styles and techniques and I am always pushing my limits to learn something new from each project I do. I am not afraid to fail, and I greatly attribute my successes to this, for even mistakes are not failures if I learn something good from the situation. I use traditional techniques such as overlay and tufa casting mostly while also having a love for cuttlebone casting. The cuttlebone casts keeps me connected to the water and I enjoy the excitement of each cast. I often know not what to make until after the pour is done. I use many different stones including turquoise and other natural materials such as coral, fossil ivory, shells and even wood at times.”