Complex and densely packed with symbols, Phil Loretto's jewelry reflects a highly personal philosophy. "In Santa Fe, New Mexico, artists sell their work on the plaza. It's a marketplace that's been there since the Spanish came. I started selling jewelry there from the time I was about four or five. It's a good place to sell to the tourists, and it's a good way to make money. But you ask yourself, 'What's my objective? Is this going to be my destiny?'
"I read a lot; it's one of my passions. I got my first library card when I was five. I would read five books a week on Native American culture. Later I majored in Southwest studies and in art. I guess I've recorded history in my jewelry, because I draw what goes on in Pueblo life or in Navajo life-the traditional dances and people working in their fields. I incorporate a lot of myths and legends from South American, Mexican and Canadian Indians in my jewelry."
Phil Loretto was a spectacular human being. His interests and talents were diverse, spanning across architecture, painting, activism, poetry, and of course jewelry. The rustic nature of his designs is carefully done and a display of his immense technical skill. Every piece of art made by Phil told a part of his story. Phil Loretto passed away August 4, 2017. He is dearly missed.