Sterling silver cuff by Navajo silversmith Albert Nells. The 3/8" wide heavy gauge silver cuff has a contemporary border pattern and a 1/4" x 3/8" jet stone. The inside of the cuff is 4 3/4" with a 1" gap.
Albert Nells began making jewelry in 1972, but it wasn’t until the early 1980’s that he developed his own style. His work is influenced by the old rug designs and especially the old saddle blanket patterns which had a border for protection. When questioning the elders, it always came back to rug designs and borders for protection. Albert’s borders are like sun rays, reflecting certain points. He uses four colors in his inlay: turquoise, coral, jet and shell. They represent the four directions and the four Sacred Mountains.
About the artist
Navajo artist Albert Nells began his career in 1972. He is famous for developing a unique sleek elegant Art Deco style of jewelry incorporating raised inlay and finely cut cabochons. The color scheme is contemporary yet uses the four sacred colors of white blue red and black. In this way he blends the traditional with the sleek elegance of modern times. Albert is a meticulous craftsman. He selects only the finest, natural turquoise, coral and other gemstones from around the world. He then cuts, sets and polishes the stones in his own silver designs. Every piece of Albert Nells jewelry is made entirely by Albert.
Albert Nells was raised in Cedar Springs, and now makes his home in Flagstaff. He is a self-taught artist and started in leather work. Many of his designs come from leather applied to silver. He calls his technique “wire design” with channel inlay.
Albert considers himself a traditionalist, believing in the traditional Navajo ways. He participates in Navajo ceremonies in the Beauty Way. The all natural four color stones he uses represent the four directions.
Albert shows his work at Indian Market, Southwestern Art Festival, and The Heard Museum Show and he says he “always takes home a ribbon.”