When he goes to work, Eric Smith puts his life in danger. His job is to climb the flag poles for installation, repair, painting... When a ladder does not allow you to reach the top, he is the one who climbs. sticks to it. "I do this difficult job by choice, but deep down I'm an artist, " he said from his amateur jeweller studio in Mesquite, Texas. .
But, after the day, he does something much more exciting: he makes jewelry for men in the purest tradition of Indian ornaments. "It's not really a hobby anymore, it's a calling."
“In the ancient tradition, silver and turquoise are the favored materials for prayer,” he said. Some jewels take a few days to craft. According to him, he draws his creative abilities from deep within himself. "Because these jewels, you know, are made from the heart, " he says. These techniques, he owes them to the generations that preceded him.
“My grandmother was a Navajo Indian, as well as a silversmith. In our family, silverwork has been passed down from generation to generation for a long time," he said. "All the tools I use to make my jewelry, they belonged to my grandmother. In particular, she punched all the pieces she created with this punch. »
When Eric Smith was a child, his grandmother passed on all her know-how to him. “She gave me lots of tools, she showed me her techniques. 'Do this, do that', and I was doing it. I was making lots of mistakes, but that's how you learn. »
He also tells how the fusion of money fascinated him when he was a child. As he was heating pieces of silver with a torch, they suddenly turned into a ball. “You see, when silver reaches its melting temperature, it automatically forms a ball in order to condense. » After which the goldsmith transforms this ball of silver into perfect circles.
“When I was a kid, I thought it was magic. I remember asking my grandmother how she managed to pull off such a trick, which made her laugh. »
When he entered working life, the Texan ended up moving away from this family tradition. But he eventually got back to it after being confronted with the harsh reality of how short-lived life is. Namely after the permanent disappearance of all the creators and artists of his family tree.
“I felt so amputated, because this whole part of my family was suddenly obliterated,” he said. “So, in a way, making men's and women's jewelry allows me to make a connection with them. When I make bracelets or necklaces, I feel like they are there by my side. »
One day, he felt their presence when his creations accidentally fell to the ground. According to him, it was a sign that he had to start over.
His clients are people who appreciate the personal character of his jewelry, its meaning and respect for tradition. “It's rewarding, because these jewels energize whoever buys them. And, on my side, I also receive energy due to the pleasure of my customers, who appreciate the personal character of my jewellery. »