Howard Sice - Native American - Hopi/Laguna

Howard Sice (Hopi - Laguna)  Arizona, USA  Native American jewelry artist.  He is self taught. Over his career, he has been the recipient of countless awards, including Best of Show and 1st Place.  He was raised on the Laguna Pueblo of Paraje but split time with relatives in Hopi so his work displays strong influences from both cultures.  

He served twenty years in the Air Force inclusive of a year in Vietnam.  While in the service he obtained a degree in a special area of medical research (lab work).

While still in the service, in 1972, he started working in jewelry in 1972. He has added to his skills over the years. It was once he started engraving in 1985 that his metal work became distinctly identifiable.

I love that he still does small, dainty pieces that are affordable to virtually anyone.  I purchased a pair of his earrings in an airport store in Denver 25 years ago for myself without knowing who he was. I still love them and wear them regularly.

He has fairly recently started working with several very interesting materials.  The first is Niobium. I probably shouldn't even mention it given I sold out of the pieces I bought before I got a chance to post them but I will get more at some point. Niobium is a metal that, when oxidized, can take on some beautiful colors.

The other metal Howard is working in is Argentium silver. Standard Sterling is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.  Argentium is classified as Sterling as it still has a 92.5% silver content but a small portion of the copper has been replaced by Germanium.  The result is startling.  There are a number of advantages to the artist in how they can work with the material but to the end user (and me) the difference is the huge reduction is tarnishing. The finished work also is amazingly bright, noticeably more so than even the most polished standard Sterling.

Argentium requires makers (artists) be registered with them to utilize the distinct hallmark of a flying unicorn. Howard is a registered user and is moving over to the use of Argentium almost exclusively.  I will mark on each piece if it is Argentium.  Artist may USE Argentium without registration but may not use the hallmark.  I had some work by Myron Panteah that I'm all but certain was Argentium but was not hallmarked as such.

Howard's business is a family affair with both his wife, Patricia and daughter being heavily involved.  His daughter is an accomplished silversmith.  They are lovely people and I really enjoyed their company this year (2017) at Prescott Indian Market.