Page 18 - IACA Journal: Fall 2012

ByBrianLush
PAGE16
IACAJOURNAL
NEW ARTISTAWARD:SHARONABEYTA
FirstofalI'dliketocongratulateyouonwinningtheIACANewArtistMemberofthe
YearAward.
Thankyou!
Wereyousurprisedyouwon?
ActualyIwas.IwasrealyquitesurprisedonthenightoftheArtistoftheYearbanquet. My
brother,LesterAbeyta,wasteasingmeabouthavingtocomebackandgotowork.Wehave
thisfriendlycompetitiongoingonbetweneachother.Wewenttothedinerandthatwas
whenIfoundout that Ihadwon.Lestergot first placeintheJewelrycategory. That waskind
offun.
Telusaboutyourwinningpiece.
Thewiningpiecewasatenstringorangemelonshelnecklace.It'soneofourtraditional
Pueblostylepieces.Yousealotofpeoplewearingthesekindsofnecklacesfordancesand
otherocasions.Iremembermymomanddadmakingthem, aswelasmyuncles. Theyoften
madethosetypesof heishi necklacessoIdecidedtogiveit atryandsehowIwoulddo. Ien-
joyedit.
Whatistheprocesofcreatingapiecelikethat?
Basicaly,IhavetocolectalotofshelstogetthecolorsthatInedinordertomakethat
onepiece.WhenIgetalofthemcolected,theslicingprocesstarts.ThenIcuttheminto
smalsquarepieces, anddrilthem, sortoutthesizesandcountthepieces. Itrytofigureout
howmanypiecesIwilned.ThistimeIhadenoughtomakethat10strandnecklace.
Howyoubeganmakingthiskindofjewelry?
IstartedwhenIwasveryyoung. WhenIwasalitlegirlIremembermygrandmotherwould
bestringingandshewouldletusplaywithherturquoiseorwhatever, andthenmymomand
dadtokitastepfurtherandmadeitagame,wherewehadtomatchshelsandcolorsand
putthemintocertaincategories.AsakidIwasthinkingIwashavingfun,butIwasrealy
workingandlearningtoknowthediferencesbetwenthetexturesandsizes.I'vebendoing
thissinceIwassixyearsold.
Heishisemstobefamilyart.
Wel, thereismymomanddadwhousedtomakejewelryandthentherearemysiblings, HarveyandLesterAbeyta.The
grandparentsonbothmymom’ssideandonmydad'ssidemadejewelry.Ilearnedsomeoftheirtechniquesthroughmy
dadwholearneditfromhisfather.
Asanartist,whatdrewyoutowanttojoinIACA?
IhadneverrealyheardabouttheorganizationuntilmybrotherLesterjoined. IwouldgototheIACAmarketswithhimand
helpout.I'maparttimebusdriver,butonceIstartedmakingmyownjewelry,thenmybrotherwastelingmethatjoining
IACAwouldbeagodwaytostartlearninghowtofindnewclientsandbuyers.Alotofthistypeofjewelryiscomingfrom
overseasbutwithIACAtherearepeoplewithintheorganizationwhoknowthatyou’reworkinginthetraditionalwayand
theysuportthat.It'salsonicetoknowthatalofmyworkisapreciated.I'vealsolearnedalotfromtheorganizationon
howtomanagethebusinessideofbeinganartist.
Whatadvicewouldyougivetoanyonewantingtopursueartsandcraftsasaprofesion?
Iwouldsaythatifyourheartisinitandyourealyenjoydoingit, thenthatiswhatyoushouldbedoing.Iencouragemy
nieceandnephewtolearnhowtomakejewelryandIteachtheminthewaythatIlearned,bymakingitfun!