Great art isn’t only a matter of a particular image, design, or style. True art connects us not only to an individual piece but to the artist behind it. Knowing the person who conceived and created the work we admire adds a layer to art that moves it from one level to the next. That is why Turquoise Skies is committed to not only selling high quality, handcrafted Native American jewelry but also to putting a face to the artists behind each piece.
With the advent of the Industrial Age, the world saw machines take over jobs humans had done. In some ways this was a relief. In other ways, however, industrialization wiped away some important cultural traditions. Nowhere is this more evident than in the world of art. Weavings and textiles once made by hand in cottage industries were left in the dust by mechanical looms that could mass produce any design. Paintings that once held the inner spirit of the artist were printed over and over again, making them little more than copies of the work of unknown painters.
Art is culture, not merely a reflection of it. What an artist puts into the design and creation of a handcrafted piece of jewelry, or the weaving of a rug, or the making of a basket, goes far beyond simple mechanics. It involves a part of who they are, where they come from, what they’ve seen and experienced in their years of living. No machine, no matter how fast or how accurate, can reproduce that kind of beauty.
Can a design be copied? Yes. Can the style, the color or the shape be mass produced? Of course. But in that production there is a loss that is too often ignored. Because something can be made to look like something else, doesn’t mean it has the same depth, the same quality, the same artistic value that the original does.
Culture through art is the reason behind the mission of Turquoise Skies. The preservation of ancient traditions, the continuance of traditional skills and the reminder of the beauty that has always been part of indigenous culture are the end goals of the work that the company does to help promote Native artists. It is also our commitment to showcase individual artists, allowing them to speak their own stories in their own way. This way anyone choosing a work they have created can know the story behind the design.