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Easily Distracted by Shiny Objects - Alec Kercsó


I’ve posted this shaman before in its earliest form, on a sterling silver and 14K yellow gold ring, and as a small sterling silver stud, but I wanted to share this version as it’s both more refined and shows better as a pendant. This is a larger piece, two inches in height.

Shaman #1: Air

Sterling silver overlay.

That leaves the fourth, the one that still vexes me, Fire. But I think I’m on to something, so let’s see what happens.


These are cool. So 2 layers or is that etched in. I have some pics of petroglyphs from AZ I wanted to do this with. I thought I would etch it in.


Thank you Shannon. Yes, these are two layers. I prefer piercing to etching, but I think it can be done both ways. I’d guess etching wouldn’t allow as deep an image as piercing. Some of my layers are as much as .032" or .040" thick.

I’ll be sharing another project in a couple of days or so, and will include a photo of the top layer.



I delight in your petroglyph pieces. While deceptively simple they have an elegance and a sophisticated whimsy that evinces a mastery of line, which only comes after much study and practice.

On a technical note, there are some shops which specialize in deep etching to critical dimensions. If you ever want to produce these in multiples that could be a way to go. Search for precision etching and a bunch will come up.


Thank you, Elliot, I’m glad you like them. I hadn’t ever considered etching, but if I do, I’ll know what to search for. I love what happens hanging out on Ganoksin. All sorts of information just finds its way to you.



Hi Alec,
thanks or your response re my take on the calvary/ cross thought.
As a mainly wrought silversmith, fire is central to my work, tho I do work metal cold.
One of my buckle deigns use no heat at all, nor any soldering.
That means no pickling nor post sodering clean up.
So I look forward to seeing what you have in mind for this last shaman.


Petroglyph pendants from a different era…

Most of the petroglyph, and petroglyph-inspired pieces I’ve shared here are from a period sometimes called “Ancient Puebloan.” These are different.

On Mesa Prieta (and elsewhere), we observe three principal eras of petroglyphs, Archaic, Ancient Puebloan, and Historic. During the Historic era from about 500 to 100 years ago, we begin to see petroglyphs of horses, Christian crosses, and other Spanish Colonial symbols such as these Spanish heraldic lions which we think in petroglyph form are unique to the mesa:

Heraldic Lion Petroglyphs and Pendants

Lion 1 with Detailed Claws

Lion 2 with Pointed Crown


Something a little different for me. Not much overlay work here. I approached this design just for fun, but ended up pretty happy with the results.

Santa Fe, New Mexico is far from the sea to be sure. But before I moved here, I spent a lot of time on the water, racing my sailboat on San Francisco Bay and outside the Golden Gate.

I picked up this piece of landscape jasper that reminded me of the Pacific coast, and so needed appropriate accessories… all hand fabricated (except for the anchor chain) from sterling silver stock.

Back to the Beach


Hi Alec,
I really love seeing your work. The petroglyph interpretations are both creative and educational. You’re becoming the master of the 10(ought)…
You’ve stepped smartly into your new career…
All the best,


Thank you Jim. I always appreciate your compliments and encouragement.



Sometimes you just need to hit something…

Stepping away from piercing, overlay, and soldering to make this commissioned suite of hand-forged bracelets.

3 Bangles
1/4 Pound (actually a little more) of Sterling Silver
9 14 Karat Yellow Gold Rivets
7500 Hammer Blows

4 gauge sterling wire (sledge) hammered into shape, and then textured. Each bangle is fixed with three 8 gauge 14K yellow gold rivets.

What I really like about these is how rigid they become through work hardening. These are not flimsy, bendy bangles. They’re solid, hefty, and a little rustic. And the sound when they’re worn…

An 8 ga Rivet Ready to Set


Three Big Bangles


Oh boy… this thread takes me back . I became obsessed with “Indian” jewelry
as a young kid, living here in central NM, a hotbed of fine Native American silversmiths.
In the 1970’s everybody and their uncle was making jewelry , and I got on board fast, and I was good , like a child prodigy . However, I never got my solo act together until after I started making dies (1986) and sobered up (1988 ) , and I had gotten got burned out doing boring production work at a bench for someone else. Anyway , everybody has to start somewhere, and it’s never too late. I picked up a guitar again after 20 years of stupidity, at age 40 , 20 years ago . I used to be horrified when I was doing jewelry, because I read that Geminiis often change careers, and I wondered "WTF am I going to do instead of making jewelry ??? " . Then I got obsessed with pancake dies, and now it’s 30 years of that…twice as long as my jewelry career . Now it actually is too late to change :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Anyway , I still make pieces for my wife once in a while. I’ve posted these on my blog page before; they’re from 3 or 4 years ago (I lose track of time easily these days ).
Keep at it, folks, you can only get better ! :grinning:

I don’t contribute much here, jewelry-wise , so bear with me telling the same old story and showing the same old stuff . I don’t exactly have a lot of material to work with .
Don’t get me started on dies , though , because I’ll chew your ears off :wink:





DS :sunglasses:


Hi Dar,

These are really lovely. They have a beautiful fluidity to them. I didn’t realize you were also in NM. I didn’t come here specifically for the jewelry — it’s just an added bonus (one of many) to living here.



Thanks , it took me a long time to move into fluidity . I also started out doing overlay , but I didn’t get into the superfine , super-small designs like you’re doing . I was sawing circles around most people, but I never really had the patience for the tiniest sort of work. I liked to have things big enough to file and make “perfect” . Moving away from the rigid perfectionism and limited design took time . It comes in handy sawing dies, though !

DS :sunglasses:


Finally, all four of my “Elemental Shaman,” Air, Water, Earth, and… Fire, the one it took me longest to “find.”

Four Elemental Shaman: Air, Water, Earth, Fire
(and a bonus little Air)


Very nice Alec. A lot of work went into those, far more than is apparent. Well done!



Thank you very much, Dave. They’ve been equal parts project and learning tool, and I’ve really learned a lot while figuring them all out.



Your jewelry is beautiful, Alec!


Dear Alec,

Really very nice work…keep it up!..


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Erica, Kumaravel, thank you very much.