Michael RogersMaster Inyo Paiute Jewelry Artist
As a child growing up on the reservation, Michael could only make jewelry out of wood with his pocket knife. Now, 65 years later, his jewelry is still handmade and fashioned in silver and gold.
One of the last Authentic California Indian Handmade jewelers, with 40 years of experience, he is a true master of his art.
His handmade jewelry is loaded with rich textures, colors and design. The cliche, (lots of blood, sweat, and tears went into the making) is not far off with his art, more so than that is the time put into handmade jewelry. The outcome is very apparent to it's manufactured counterpart.
His artwork has a modern look but is based on old themes. While attending UC Davis, he met a well known Cherokee painter George Cochran, who told him, "If you want to do anything new, look to the Old."
He took Cochran's advise to heart and began studying Aztec art, until it finally came to him that even older is Mother Earth.
Since then his inspiration has been the environment. His modern designs represent natural things anywhere from the rays of the sun to rippling water in a stream.
In 1992, he was privileged to exhibit his jewelry art at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. - The Smithsonian Institution - because his jewelry art was considered exceptional and contemporary fine art of high caliber.