When the artist known as Silver Hawk began looking for a project on which to focus his talent more than 30 years ago, the idea of carving feathers out of bone came from his daughter, Rebekah.
Silver Hawk created a pair of feather earrings out of pieces of bone, and what is now Silver Hawk Studio was born. The Studio now creates more than 30 varieties of small bone feathers carefully carved and painted to replicate the feathers of birds ranging from the golden eagle to the hummingbird. The feathers are featured on necklaces and earrings available at the Oldest House Indian Shop in Santa Fe.
Silver Hawk passed away in 2004 after teaching his original techniques to other carvers and painters, including Rebekah, who continues the Silver Hawk legacy. Rebekah, the studio’s resident owner and artist, ensures that the designs and carving techniques used are up to her father’s standards. Rebekah’s daughter is a painter in the family business as well and is the third generation carrying the artistic legacy forward.
Based in Estes Park, Colorado, the Silver Hawk Studio artists create the feathers of birds ranging from raptors like the golden eagle, red-tailed hawk and great horned owl, to their colorful cousins the hummingbird, duck and parrot. The studio also can create custom feathers from photos sent by customers, sometimes in honor of or in memory of their pet birds.
“We get a lot of emails and cards from people who say, ‘I have an amazing connection to these pieces. I can feel the good vibes you put into them.'” Rebekah says, “I want people wearing their Silver Hawk and enjoying it. That’s what matters to me. Like my father, I want to spread some color and life and beauty around.”
Rick Smith, owner of the Oldest House Indian Shop in Santa Fe, finds that Silver Hawk Studio jewelry reflects the rich Native heritage of the American southwest, recalling the function feathers have in Native American life.
“Silver Hawk jewelry is a captivating artistic expression that serves as a point of reflection on the use and vital function of feathers by Native Americans.” Smith says, “Since discovering Silver Hawk nearly 15 years ago, this jewelry has served our customers as a touchstone to their cultural experience while visiting.”
See these tiny treasures today at the Oldest House Indian Shop, located at 215 East De Vargas Street in Santa Fe.