Ornament Magazine

VOL37.1 2014

Ornament is the leading magazine celebrating wearable art. Explore jewelry, fashion, beads; contemporary, ancient and ethnographic.

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sketches a concept. He might have forty to fifty drawings of one prototype and from that Pruitt takes one or two that he refines into what he describes as a hyper-detailed sketch. Scanning the design into a computer results in a digital image that he can perfect. "Because the tools I use allow for the precision I want, I might take hours perfecting a design," he notes. Pruitt might go through five to ten versions in order to arrive at what he envisioned. At that point he uses machines, some of them that he designed, to cut and mill the desired shapes. Using CNC technology and three-axis machinery, Pruitt can coordinate the machinery to make spiral or lateral cuts in the metal. He begins with stainless steel sheet metal to make a bracelet or metal tubing for a ring. Other metals he employs are titanium and zirconium. Depending on the object, he might weld or solder in order to fuse two pieces of metal. Finishing is one of the final steps. Pruitt uses sandblasting if he needs a more aggressive finishing technique and bead blasting to create a texture, roughen the surface, or to acquire a different hue or color. Because the beads are smoother, often the finish is more satiny in appearance and light gray in color. Pruitt might add silver or gold to the stainless steel base for designs on some jewelry. These softer metals can be cut to desired shapes and hammered into place. He has also used industrial diamonds in his work. From the onset of his foray in Southwestern jewelry, Pruitt has included unusual materials such as stingray leather or shark skin. Most recently, he has incorporated polycrystalline solar cells in titanium belt buckles and necklaces. What is next? We cannot wait to see. SUN WORSHIPPER belt buckle of 6Al 4V titanium, polycrystalline photo-voltaic cells; CNC machined, pulse arc welded, bead blasted, 2013. F1 SERIES V1.0 bolo tie of 316L stainless steel, natural Lone Mountain turquoise, natural coral, twenty-four karat gold; CNC machined, hydraulic press formed, pulse arc welded, hand inlay, polished, sanded, collaboration with Chris Pruitt, 2011. WEDDING BAND of MokuTi (forge welded titanium), twenty-four karat gold; hand-machined, flame oxidized, 2013. 47 ORNAMENT 37.1.2013 SUGGESTED READING Cirillo, Dexter. Southwestern Indian Jewelry: Crafting New Traditions. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 2008. Fauntleroy, Gussie. "Groundbreakers." Native Peoples Magazine, Vol. 21, No. 1, 34-35, 2008. Haaland, Debra A. "Introducing: Pat Pruitt." New Mexico Magazine, Vol. 85, No. 8, 78-79, 2007. Pardue, Diana F. Contemporary Southwestern Jewelry. Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2007. Ringlero, Aleta. "Man of Steel: Innovative Jeweler Pat Pruitt." National Museum of the American Indian, Vol. 9, No. 2, 18-21, 2008.

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