6.10.2018

NATIVE AMERICAN DAVID MCELROY- SILVERSMITH . COLLECTOR . AMAZING!


WHERE TO BEGIN WITH THIS 
EXTRAORDINARY TALENT

Let's see: David McElroy is a member of the Choctaw Nation of  Oklahoma; he is a lawyer -  a solicitor in London before moving to Santa Fe. He is a silversmith, making repoussé, cuffs and jewelry that is finished so beautifully that people ask if they are vintage. He is a horsehair basket maker and won a ribbon at the Heard Museum recently. He is also a collector of paintings and gorgeous Native American objects that fill his home and beckon you to  linger in each room and hallway, taking it all in. Hmmm, have I left anything out? Oh yes, he just took up sculpting and he has a menagerie of animals
 that he has rescued.


HIS JEWELRY










HIS HORSEHAIR BASKETS





H I S   H O M E

























David with his Mother Dugan, also a collector.


T H E   M E N A G E R I E









.


I ASKED DAVID A FEW QUESTIONS




Q. How old were you when you began making art?

A, As a child I loved anything to do with my hands.  I began doing native beadwork
 in about 3rd grade.   In 6th grade as a class project we learned to knit a stocking cap,
 and I kept it up over the years.  Now I make jewelry, horsehair baskets, and I sculpt. 
 Now that I'm doing art full-time I couldn't be happier. 

Q. You are a lawyer - for almost twenty-years,  a member of the Choctaw Nation 
and  an award-winning silversmith and artist...oh yes an avid collector. 
 Who is your favorite David McElroy?

A. All of those are pieces of who I am, but I have to say
I enjoy creating more than anything else. 


Q. When did you know you wanted to be a silversmith, and how did you make that
 transition from law to art.

A. I was living in London, working as a solicitor, and came to Santa Fe
 to visit my mother.  She's an avid collector of Native jewelry. 
 After several visits to artists' studios I was intrigued
 by the process of jewelry making.  I thought to myself, 
"that's something I absolutely have to try." Once back in London,
 I started taking workshops on weekends and in my free time, specifically fabrication of sterling jewelry and hand chasing and repoussé, 
which is my favorite technique for jewelry making. The first class
 I took I worked straight through lunch and realized it was 
what I wanted to be doing.

Q. You have two donkeys, 4 amazing rabbits, chickens, and two cats...
any plans to increase the menagerie?

A. All are rescues with the exception of the chickens.  I love animals
and having them enriches my life immeasurably.
  At this point no plans for any additions,
 but I never say never...


Q. Your home is beautiful and lovingly curated;
what's the story behind your collections.

A. My parents had a beautiful home full of things 
they'd collected over the years, and I think that turned me into 
a collector from an early age.  Santa Fe is a collector's paradise for
 people interested in Native art, be it pottery, basketry, textiles,
 jewelry, painting, etc.  Some things I collect to use as reference 
material for my work, and other things
 I collect just because I like to be surrounded
 by beautiful, interesting things.  


Q. What would you like someone to feel when they slip on one of your
 handsome sterling silver cuffs?

A. My pieces tend to have a lot of texture through stamp work and 
repoussé. I want my pieces to feel classic and timeless- it's a huge 
compliment when someone asks if a cuff I've made is a vintage piece.
  I've learned that when people buy handmade jewelry they're 
buying a piece of the artist, so I hope they get a sense of me,
 my story, and my aesthetic. 





CONTACT E - roamingdavid@gmail.com




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1 comment:

  1. Awesome, all! What endears me the most though, will be the animal rescues. I love that in any human. Lovely, warm home and beautiful jewelry! All these things make me miss Santa Fe, our favorite place to visit. That's why I subscribe to your blog. Thanks again!

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