June 24, 2012

Artist Profile | Michelle Lowden

One of the many things that I love about contemporary Native American designers and artists is their ability to take their cultural artistic legacy and remix it to create something beautiful and new.

Take for example, the artwork of Michelle Lowden. Lowden comes from the Pueblo of Acoma located in New Mexico. Her great-grandmother is well-known potter Marie Z. Chino, and, clearly influenced by Chino, Lowden continues the act of creating brilliant patterns.

But Lowden has stepped beyond traditional materials, such as clay, while remaining faithful to the precise and intricate nature of Pueblo pottery.

Lowden specializes in hand-made jewelry painted with geometric designs on lightweight basswood. Although the designs have a distinctive pop/street feel, all of her inspiration actually comes from traditional Acoma pottery, which is widely known for its historic intricate and geometric patterns. Some of her earrings stick to the black and white palette of Acoma pottery, others go beyond, and fuse pinks and with greens or yellows with blues.

Lowden has been creating jewelry for three years. View her work here.