Jan Loco, Apache Jeweler
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Apache artist Jan Loco developed a method of making jewelry without the use of power tools. After cutting the silver with heavy-duty poultry scissors or something like the desired shape, she hammers it with a specially selected rock until she achieves the texture she desires. This is a laborious task, but she feels it honors her ancestry to use items of nature rather than power tools. Jan Loco began making jewelry in 1988. Jan Loco became interested in Apache symbolism and legend when, as a young adult, she discovered her Apache ancestry. Her work is inspired by the stories of her ancestors, incorporating designs reflecting the heavens, Apache legends, as well as plants and animals of the Apache homeland.
Jan Loco did not learn of her Warm Springs Apache heritage from her adoptive parents until she was an adult. It was then that she learned she was the great granddaughter of Chief Loco, one of the last of the Apache chiefs, who had been imprisoned in Florida in 1886 by the U. S. government.
Jan Loco no longer is making jewelry. She moved from New Mexico some years ago and her whereabouts are unknown.
Recommended Reading: American Indian Jewelry II: A-L 1800 Artist Biographies by Gregory and Angie Schaaf.