Making jewelry started 20 years ago when Pat was fortunate enough to study under a local silversmith, Greg Lewis. Working in traditional materials (silver, copper) learning traditional repousse techniques (stamp and hammer), this gave him a firm foundation in jewelry fabrication, tool development, and general craftsmanship. Several years later, he met Charlie Bird, another esteemed jeweler from Paguate. He taught Pat a different view on silverwork and asthetics of jewelry design.
During his college years at Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX), Pat studied Mechanical Engineering and landed a position in a prototype machine shop building one off components for various mechanical devices. This apprentiship was a true eyeopener. Learning the skills of a machinist was a blessing. Pat thanks Geroge Sabolski for taking the time to teach him.
Acquiring all these skills eventually lead to the startup and growth of his current business, Custom Steel. Yet after many years producing jewelry for body piercing, Pat still craved making personal adornment like he had in years past.
It was only until recently that he felt comfortable introducing a new medium, style and technique (along with tons of encouragment from friends and artists a like) into a market that is solely defined by what native art *should* be. This time using a different skill set and utilizing a material that was familiar to him (SS). His design still has traditional native undertones, with a contemporary edge. Coupled with influences both on and off the reservation, industrial design, and limitations forced onto him by the material of choice.
“My work is the creation of aesthetically pleasing objects of adornment for the discerning individual with non-traditional materials and fabrication technique utilizing evolving technology, equipment, and software. My designs reflect an influence of a modern traditional lifestyle, both on and off the reservation.” —Pat Pruitt