In 2012, my goddaughter Mariko, graduated with a BFA degree in Industrial Design at the California College of Art (my junior year alma mater). I wanted to make her something very special for her graduation, as I had just started taking metalsmithing classes at Pratt. Mariko had studied metals at Pratt and later at CCA. I later learned that her Hopi grandmother was also a jewelry designer and metalsmith.
When she was back on break, she shared some of her grandmother’s metalwork with me. Some of things that she made were molds from pine cones. She gave me some of materials in her grandmothers tool chest as well as some molded silver pieces. I made this amulet using a bullet casing, glass and lava rock bead and her grandmother’s silver pine cone.
I flew down to the Bay Area for her graduation. She showed me around the much expanded campus of CCA. So impressive…3D printing, laser cutting shop, gallery spaces, design studios. The ceremony was incredible…think it was their largest graduating class ever. Was so honored to be there to watch Mariko receive her diploma. Am SO proud of that girl!