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Easily Distracted by Shiny Objects - Alec Kercsó


Hi Alec

Very nice thread and work. It is always interesting to find out how one is drawn to metal working with history.

If your still in Silicon valley? I am about 100 miles south and have been doing this for 40 years.

Hope we can hook up



Thank you for the kind words, Franz. It’s always encouraging to hear as much from people like you who have been at this far longer than I have.

I left Silicon Valley for Santa Fe a couple of years ago. I didn’t move to become an artist, but it’s certainly a wonderful place to be if that’s what you are. (Plus, @RioGrande orders all arrive overnight!)



It’s been an incredibly busy summer here in Santa Fe. Now that we’re done with Spanish Market, Indian Market, Zozobra, and Fiesta de Santa Fe, I thought I’d share a few new pieces…

Zia Symbol Cuff
Sterling silver and Gaspeite
I love the color and pattern in this stone. Sadly, my supplier says she’s been unable to obtain any more pieces.

“Air Shaman” Cuff
8mm x 3mm sterling silver overlay cuff bracelet
Part of my first series, “4 Elemental Shamans,” inspired by petroglyphs of the Southwest.

“Water Shaman” Cuff
Another in the series, 8mm x 3mm sterling silver overlay with 14K yellow gold inlay for the staff.

“Air Shaman” Stud
This tiny sterling silver overlay stud is only 3/8” in diameter.

“Air Shaman” Stud

“Three Sheeps to the Wind”
Sterling silver overlay pendant/charm, 5/8” x 1”. This is an old design, one of my very first, inspired by the “boat-shaped sheep” petroglyphs of the Coso Rock Art District in eastern California. I wanted to go back to this and make it again to test my skills improvement.



Man, I just love your work, The complexity of achieving “clean and simple” is deceiving, and you are a master.
The piercings with the symbolic and petroglyph images are the icing on the cake, primitive in motif, but thought provoking in process.
Great stuff…


HI Alec,
Very nice work! Some maw sit sit is similar to what you have pictured, perhaps with the green a bit deeper in color. I haven’t bought any of this, so IDK how available what you want it…I have seen some lately, but it is grayer rather than greener. Surely there is green available if you look around.


Jim, thank you as always. I’m still at that stage in my work where when I want to post something, I see every little flaw in the photos of my pieces, and making that final “click” to submit is sometimes difficult. So your encouragement means a lot to me.

Royjohn, I’ve seen maw sit sit, and lemon chrysoprase, and various other green stones. Some colors strike me deeply, others not as much. It wasn’t that I specifically wanted a green stone; I had this one sitting in my bench drawer for at least a year before I decided what to do with it. It was the stone that inspired this piece vs. a specific design that needed this stone (as compared to the “Rain Cloud” ring that certainly needed a cloud-like stone). Anyway, thank you for the compliment.



Lovely work. One word of advice. Photograph your work without props and on
a plain background. Galleries and magazines prefer plain. Plus you want
folks to focus on your jewelry.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer


Hi Alec,

Ted here in the UK,
Interesting use of glyphs, or cartouches or runes etc, jogged my memory to a series I did some 40 yrs ago, but with a differnt technique, to me, it looks as tho you have sawn out the designs, then soldered the pierced metal to a backing.

If your a good sawyer, then I suppose its quick, however my approach was quite different. I cut lots of designs into tool steel, obviously in the reverse, ive around 60 or so of punches
which produce designs into the metal like you do, but with a single blow with a hammer driving the punches into the metal.
With so many designs, I was able to make custom pictograms for individual customers needs, telling a story in fact.
Ill be coming to this product range later this year, still have all the punches! for my 50th anniversary show next year in June .
Currently remaking product design no 3. 30 off, and lots more designs to go. Cant wait to get up in the morning!.


Hey Alec,
I have some very nice “chrysopal” here that I think is really a very light chrysoprase. Pretty translucent. When I get around to cutting up this rock of it, I’d be happy to send you a cab if you’d put a picture up here and credit the stone if you decide to make a piece for it. Just shoot me an address to


Hi Ted,

You’re correct, I’m piercing the front and soldering to a backplate. What I like about this (as opposed to stamping), is the depth I can achieve for the pattern. All of the front pieces in my recent post are 0.032” or 0.040” thick. I think this gives them a stronger, more impactful look.

Of course, piercing also gives me the freedom to modify my designs at whim. For the stud, I took an existing design, and turned it around to deliver as a gift in 24 hours.

Looking forward to seeing some of your photos as you bring your revived product range back.



Morning Alec,

Yes ,with 32 thou plus metal your way is the only way!.
however I should have mentioned I stamp into 100tho and up to 3/16th in thick, so achieve the same depth as you. Likewise oxidise to contrast.

Another thought for you, to eliminate having to use 2 layers had you thought to fill the cut outs with niello? used a lot here in Europe around 1900, and not much since. A nice contrast and different!.
Thanks for your interest in the remaking of my designs, Ive wondered whether perhaps I should post once a week, pics of each design production run, I make in lots of 20 plus, with a descriptive comment?
What do you think?
I would need to get my IT guru to do the pics, cant manage this new fangled pc stuff!.
Await your thoughts,


Sounds like a plan, Ted, a weekly “blog” post of your work. Go for it. Once you get into it, you’ll be posting to Instagram, Twitter, etc. and you’ll be The IT guru!



Less petroglyphy, more pictography, (and a neutral background for @jhaemer52):

Three Buffaloes and Seven Sisters



Sweet, So simple…


The Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project ( is a very worthy organization dedicated to protecting an area of amazing petroglyphs in northern New Mexico. I’ve posted my work taken or inspired by those petroglyphs before.

This is a commissioned pendant I recently made for a Christmas present; it’s a rendering of a rare animal flute player petroglyph, and the project’s logo.

Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project Logo Pendant



Alec, Many states have petroglyphs and there has often been vandalism so this sounds like a very worthy enterprise. I am from Wyoming where there are many petroglyph sites. Several years ago I hiked around the main areas and took pictures of the petroglyphs. Like you, I also produced a line of jewelry using the Wyoming ones and I have several books on petroglyphs in my collection. One of my favorites is a skunk, which few people have ever seen, hidden on a rock on a ranch. Donna


Finding my way…

It’s not just the technical and skills stuff that I find myself navigating through, but design and style. What I’m finding I enjoy most are my characters. Tipsy sheep, pictograph-like buffalo, little guys that I’ve bumped into on the trail all become very personal to me when I bring them into the studio. Usually it’s great, sometimes it’s a struggle as I try to figure out the “right” look for some idea I have in my head. Getting past that struggle is very satisfying, however.

That being said, this Elemental Shaman collection I’ve been working on is finally coming to completion. At last, I’ve sorted out “Earth.” Originally, I tried using a carnelian cab in a gold bezel for this, but it didn’t seem right. So I changed it to a 14K pink gold rivet. Yes! The original inspiration for this came from standing high above the Rio Grande, looking east to the Truchas peaks here in Northern New Mexico.

Shaman #3: Earth

Sterling silver overlay, with a 14K rose gold rivet for the sun symbol.


Absolutely delightful Alec.

I will tell you that my father learned from a Cherokee artist and smith named Cecil Dick. Both men taught at The Chilocco Indian School in Kay County Oklahoma. Rob and I grew up hearing about Cecil, the school,(among other things)and watching Dad work at the bench. All this lead to my reading more about the Southwest and the history and art of Native peoples and it has influenced my designs to some degree. Every time I see one of your pieces I wonder if we, design wise, occasionally drink from the same cup. Wonderful work.

Don Meixner

---- “Alec Kercsó” wrote:


Hi Alec,
I admire the simplicity of your designs and the message they
In this fine example ,before reading your description, my initial thought was that you had drawn on the Judaeo/calvary crucifix imagery for your inspiration. not my ideal design to make.
Perhaps if the horizontal line with you holding on to it had been like a tree branch, then I might have thought differently.
The rose gold sun is nice .


Hi Don,

Thank you. I don’t doubt that we may be drinking from the same cup on occasion. The lure of the Southwest is a powerful thing. It captivated me, and I was infused with its essence. That is what drew me here from California, a place I imagined I’d never leave. The official nickname of New Mexico is “The Land of Enchantment,” but I have friends who call it “The Land of Entrapment.” It can snare you and keep you here. I didn’t come for the jewelry-making scene; that’s just a huge bonus for me.


Thank you as well. Though I never imagined that imagery in this context, I can see how you could interpret it that way. Even if it were what I had in mind, it wouldn’t be an issue here in Northern New Mexico where we have had a large Catholic population for several hundred years, and crucifixes in every imaginable shape, size, and configuration are ubiquitous.