In these latest collections, I started to reminisce of my days as a child, and thought of my grandparents. During the seventies and early eighties my grandfather used to travel to different pueblos and reservations. He would always drive the same routes, in his camper van, up through the Four Corners area trading woven Mexican blankets for turquoise. He took the turquoise and turned it into jewelry to sell in the Mercado of Juarez. I can still see their booth, where they sold their pieces. My handsome grandfather standing there in his signature guayabera shirt, bolo tie, his watchband set with giant turquoise and coral stones. My beautiful, grandmother looked like she stepped out of the pages of Vogue magazine. Some of my most vivid memories are of watching how my grandmother would add a beret or layer necklaces, to an outfit. She made bold choices, her accessories made statements before she even had to say a word. My grandmother was the first person that I saw use fashion as a form of expression.
I consider my current work a love letter to my grandparents as my fascination with ornament was born during visits to their jewelry booth. Today, I draw inspiration from my own indigenous and Hispanic roots, and the landscapes around our Santa Fe Studio. I work with my husband Mark Herndon collaboratively to create this wearable art. We take the traditional techniques and styles I grew up with, and meld them with modern jewelry applications. When you buy our work you are not only buying a beautifully made piece of jewelry you are getting a work of art steeped in love and history.
Naomi Herndon, Santa Fe, NM