Go­ing for gold

David An­der­son wins Peo­ple’s Choice for jew­elry at MRM show


There is some­thing about gold, sil­ver and turquoise that peo­ple in the South­west can’t get enough of. This was the case once again in the Peo­ple’s Choice award for best of jew­elry in the 16th an­nual Minia­tures Show, which ended Sun­day (March 4) at the Mil­li­cent Rogers Mu­seum. 1504 Mil­li­cent Rogers Road, north of El Prado.

Taos gold­smith David B. An­der­son’s “Zia Bolo” was one of more than 200 en­tries ac­cepted in this year’s very pop­u­lar an­nual mu­seum show. This is the fourth year An­der­son has taken a best-of cat­e­gory in the Minia­tures’ 16-year his­tory, in­clud­ing: best of jew­elry 2011; best of show 2012; best of 3-D 2015; and now Peo­ple’s Choice best of jew­elry in 2018.

“The turquoise is gem­stone qual­ity,” An­der­son said in a phone in­ter­view about his lat­est award. “It’s a re­ally high-grade stone. The ster­ling sil­ver is from a large sil­ver sheet. I used a rolling mill to im­part a tex­ture to the sil­ver; the 18-karat gold parts of the Zia were sand-cast gold el­e­ments us­ing molten gold. It’s ab­so­lutely one of a kind.”

No­table too, are the tips of the leather bolo tie, which ter­mi­nate in four cir­cu­lar pieces of the same in­tri­cate turquoise. He said it was the stone it­self that spoke to him while he was quest­ing for an im­pres­sive piece for the mu­seum’s show.

“I like to make some­thing ex­tra special for the minia­ture show be­cause it’s a re­ally special show to par­tic­i­pate in. I want to make some­thing to par­tic­u­larly show my tal­ents, es­pe­cially be­cause of my grand­fa­ther (Claude J.K. An­der­son), who built that house that now houses the mu­seum, and who later do­nated it” to be used for the mu­seum. “I have a lot of spe­cific ties to that build­ing, and I want to honor that.”

Born and raised in Taos, like most artists of Taos, An­der­son is in­spired by na­ture and life and by modern art.

“Art is a ve­hi­cle for ex­press­ing emo­tions and ideas in a per­sonal and cre­ative man­ner,” he says

in his artist state­ment, em­pha­siz­ing how the tech­niques and unique­ness of met­al­lurgy are part and par­cel of his in­spi­ra­tion.

In that re­gard, one of An­der­son’s spe­cial­ties is “mokume gane,” an in­ten­sive Ja­panese met­al­work­ing tech­nique of mixed-metal lay­er­ing.

Mokume is the Ja­panese word for “wood grain” or “wood eye,” and gane is the Ja­panese word for “metal,” he ex­plains on his web­site.

The lay­ered metal tech­nique was orig­i­nated by Den­bei Shoami (1651-1728) to be used in sword guards or tsuba. An­der­son’s per­sonal in­ter­est in swords and sword cul­tures nat­u­rally led to work­ing mokume gane into his me­tal­smithing reper­toire.

An­der­son part­ners in life and art with his wife Gail Golden, also an award­win­ning and best­selling jew­eler. The cou­ple lives and cre­ates art in their stu­dio gallery in Ar­royo Seco, a bit south of the vil­lage of the same name.

One of the cou­ple’s new­est spe­cial­ties is re­pur­pos­ing other peo­ple’s jew­elry and mak­ing new pieces out of older gem set­tings that no longer work for a per­sonal taste or life­style. Cus­tomers typ­i­cally bring di­a­monds from highly val­ued be­queathed rings that the wearer sim­ply won’t wear in the cur­rent set­tings.

It makes a whole lot more sense to re­work fam­ily jew­els than to sell them for pen­nies on the dol­lar to gem stone whole­salers, An­der­son says, “and we can make it into some­thing special,” such as ear­rings, pen­dants, bracelets and more.

Re­cently, he and Golden re­worked a cher­ished mar­quee di­a­mond ring that no longer fit over a cus­tomer’s larger arthritic knuckle and added di­a­monds from a Tif­fany watch she no longer used to widen the ring’s pro­file. Plus, they added an ex­pand­able “keeper” mech­a­nism that al­lowed the re­fash­ioned ring to be “fit­ted” by the wearer onto the smaller ring-fin­ger cir­cum­fer­ence, cre­at­ing what both the jewel­ers and the cus­tomer now fondly call, the “ring of her dreams.”

Be­sides gold, sil­ver, di­a­monds and other gem­stones, the pair are also work­ing in fresh water and Tahi­tian baroque pearls.

Golden is work­ing 24/7 to stock Raiford Gallery in Roswell, Ge­or­gia, and her work is lo­cally on dis­play at Mesa’s Edge on Taos Plaza and Taos Ski Val­ley. An­der­son has work in the Mil­li­cent Rogers Mu­seum Shop, and they both show their work at Tresa Voren­berg Gold­smiths in Santa Fe. Their jew­elry is on per­ma­nent dis­play for sale at The Taos Inn, 125 Paseo del Pue­blo Norte.

They also have jew­elry for sale at their stu­dio show­room by ap­point­ment. Visit their web­sites at david­ban­der­songold­smith.com and gail­go­ld­en­jew­elry.com or call (575) 770-0397.




“EAR­RINGS,” fresh water and Tahi­tian pearls and di­a­monds with ster­ling sil­ver and gold by Gail Golden


“ZIA BOLO,” ster­ling sil­ver, 18-karat gold, turquoise and leather by David B. An­der­son

By Vir­ginia L. Clark

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