Alice Lovato is an accomplished maker of necklaces and was raised in the jewelrymaking traditions of Santo Domingo Pueblo by a large family which has gained exceptional notoriety for the artistic skills of numerous family members. Aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers--nearly all the Lovatos make jewelry and a wealth of skill and knowledge about this art is passed around and taught among family members. Alice specializes in multi-strand necklaces that are visually rich and sumptuous.
This ten-strand necklace of Kingman turquoise "baby nuggets" and fine-diameter baby olive shell heishi is a full-length necklace which is beautifully strung on traditional beading string. Alice prepped these nuggets from scratch; purchased as tiny rough nuggets, she ground away the matrix where necessary, tumbled these for several days in a rock tumbler and hand-drilled each and every nugget. This is painstaking work, but the mark of a master is also in the stringing and Alice excels at stringing her beads and nuggets into silky strands of swaying movement which work in alliance.
In traditional fashion, the braided beading string is simply tied off in a bow and no metal hardware is used as a catch. The necklace is tied off at a length which allows the wearer to slip it over the head without having to tie it each time to put it on or take it off. Surplus length to the beading string assures that this can be tied to a longer length that will surely fit over any head. Length of the necklace cited below is the measured length at which it is tied in the photographs.
Kingman turquoise "baby nuggets": 3/16" to 1/4" diameter
Baby olive shell heishi: 1/16" diameter
Weight: 11.7 ounces
Length (as tied in the photos): 34"