(more) thoughts on what to do with these stones

I finally went ahead and snipped apart these old earrings from my mom. I’m going to keep the tops as is, and wear them in memory of what they were. However I am still trying to decide what to do with the 2 bigger stones.

I’m thinking of contacting Navajo jeweler Ira Custer to see if he would make them into a ring (or pendant), because I love his work (he and I have emailed back and forth a few times). For those who aren’t familiar with him, here is a cuff I bought last year, which I wear constantly.

I posted these earrings previously when I was wondering what mine they might be from. My mom bought them in Santa Fe around 1945 while on a cross country train trip.

Quite a while ago I made a post about her trip, and included one of her drawings, but I found a couple more that are interesting.

It’s fun to look at her impressions of that area as a young woman (she was prob around 18) in the 40’s. I assume the drawings of the cliffs were from the Gallup area.

I know there are others who are familiar with Ira Custer, so I thought I’d post this.


That sketchbook is a treasure! What a wonderful recording of her trip.


Here are two Ira Custer pin/pendants - the larger one is 4 inches long! Sorry for the poor pic. I bought them from him at the Santa Fe Christmas market a few years ago. I talked to him for quite a while about his carving & casting methods, such a generous artist.


I think those old sketch books are real historical treasures @Ziacat, told by real people with real adventures. The Ira Custer pieces are unusual and wonderful @Khmetalwork.


Those are beautiful! I also met him at an art market, and I agree with you; he was so gracious and friendly. I’ve been debating about what to have done with these stones, and then about a month ago he emailed me a photo of something he had recently made. My budget is a bit tight right now, so I’m going to have to wait a few months, but then I think I will contact him.

It is definitely a treasure to me. She had showed it to me when I was much younger, but then we didn’t know where it was. Mom died in 2015 (dad passed away in '81), and we were emptying out the house to sell. I found the sketchbook in an old trunk back in a closet. I know Mom took the train trip from IN to San Fran with her mom right after she graduated and before she got married, so that would have been either '45 or '46. I’m not sure how they could afford it, because her dad died in '38 (he had a bad heart from being gassed on the front lines of WW1). Mom went to art school for about a year, but had to drop out due to finances. The sketchbook was her way of remembering the trip, and she intended on making some watercolors from it. She only got one or two done, but one was of the Grand Canyon, so I had it framed and hung in my dining room. She brought back 2 pair of earrings from the trip, one of which is this pair that fell apart, and a pair of squash blossom earrings which I still wear. I had them both converted from screw backs. I know she would totally approve of me doing something else with the stones!

I came along 12 years after my brother and sister, and mom had a hard time remembering so far back. Sometimes I feel like I missed out on a lot of memories, so having these physical remembrances is special. That trip kindled a love of the Southwest and Native American Art in her.