Charles Loloma (1921-1991)
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Charles Loloma was born near Hotevilla, Hopi Pueblo Third Mesa to Rex and Rachael Loloma, of the Badger clan. In 1955, he started making jewelry after a successful career of making stoneware pottery with his wife Otellie. He experimented with lost wax, sandcasting and tufa casting. He became inspired while studying ancient Hohokam mosaic jewelry. It was then that he began creating gold and silver jewelry with exotic inlay materials.
Loloma’s impact on Indian jewelry design is unmistakable. He inspired a generation of young artists to express themselves in new and innovative ways. His own creations far exceeded anything being done by any other artist. His work ushered in a new era in Indian jewelry. By 1970, his jewelry was finding a wide audience of collectors. He had acquired a large national and international audience. Interest in his jewelry has continued today even though he has been gone for over two decades.
Photo of Charles Loloma courtesy of Gregory Schaaf.
Reference: American Indian Jewelry II: A-L 1800 Artist Biographies by Gregory and Angie Schaaf.
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