Jewelry in the American Continent
Nowadays, beautiful jewelry is produced in the American Continent with modern materials and techniques, preserving the cultural influence of our ancestors while also echoing the current trends all over the world. The two main techniques that we used are metalsmithing and wire wrapping; the first one is the art of forming and fabricating metal into jewelry by annealing, cutting and sawing, filing and sanding, forming and hammering to create shapes and textures, joining, and finishing. Wire wrapping consists of creating jewelry components with wire and findings and connecting the components to one another using manual mechanical techniques, frequently a wire is bent into a loop or other shapes and then wrapped around itself to make the shape permanent.
The American continent is famous for being a rich blend of world cultures, and this diversity is reflected in the jewelry designed and crafted on this side of the planet. Initially, Native Americans created jewelry that signified their unique culture, beliefs and sense of style; and because most indigenous groups practiced trade with other tribes, including jewelry and the materials to make it, they often borrowed designs and methods from each other. In the beginning, stones, wood, animal bones and shells were shaped into beads and pendants to craft numerous pieces, and sometime later turquoise, pearls, corals and other gems stones were also used to create wearable jewelry
Some basic metalwork consisting mainly of hammering and etching copper and silver, was also done by the first nations to make earrings, pendants and beads. The colonization brought better metalworking techniques along with the combination of materials, traditions and styles. When the Europeans came to the new world, these additional jewelry materials and techniques were incorporated into the making process, resulting in beautiful and distinctive creations that displayed all the different influences.