Diane Lonjose

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    Diane Lonjose
    Zuni artist, Diane Lonjose has been around jewelry making since she was a young child spending her days in her grandparents’ workshop. She fondly remembers seeing the abundance of turquoise and stones on their table. “It felt like being in a candy shop. That’s why I love turquoise so much - just growing up around it and seeing how beautiful these stones are. My grandmother used to wear large beautiful turquoise bracelets that I just loved. Turquoise is a healing stone and it’s so beautiful, so it’s just something you want to be around and want to wear,” Diane recollects. Her grandparents use of high grade, natural stones in particular left a lasting impact on Diane. They instilled in Diane an appreciation for quality stones and a commitment to only using natural turquoise in jewelry, something that she is very passionate about today.

    Diane began more formally making jewelry when she was 15 years old, alongside her four sisters. Their father encouraged them to go into the workshop so they could begin to make money. They started off making simple stud earrings, as they learned how to shape the silver housings and hold flame to silver. They were given scrap stones to practice cutting, shaping, and setting stones.

    After high school, Diane met her husband Rod at a baseball game in Zuni. He had learned to make jewelry when he was around 14 years old. They soon began making jewelry together, and today much of their jewelry is a team effort. When he’s not busy doing ranch work, Rod helps Diane with soldering and also enjoys working on larger pieces of jewelry, like statement dragonfly and butterfly pieces.

    Diane and Rod have two daughters and a son, now adults. All three learned how to make jewelry from their parents. Diane is a kind, warm woman who makes quality jewelry. She carries on the traditions, jewelry designs, and love for stones that she learned from her grandparents as a young child.
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