Santo Domingo Artists James and Doris Coriz
2008 Horsekeeping LLC
James Del Coriz and Dolorita G. Coriz of Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico are a wonderful husband and wife team. We love buying jewelry from them.
They each learned the art of jewelry making from their parents and have taught it to their children. It is truly a family affair.
James and Doris are warm and fun and you can tell they love their work and each other ! The last time we met with them, they told us a little more about their background.
James grew up in Santo Domingo Pueblo. His father, Raymond S. Coriz, worked as a carpenter, welder, rancher, farmer, heavy equipment operator and silversmith. His mother, Angelita B. Coriz, made pottery and turquoise jewelry and was a stay-at-home Mom.
James learned the art of jewelry making beginning at age 8 by helping his parents. His father would have him cut out patterns for the squash blossom necklaces from a sheet of silver. He would also have James stamp designs on concho belts, bolo ties and bracelets. When he worked with his Mom, she'd have him drill holes in turquoise beads and sea shells, then she would string the beads on a stiff wire. James would help with the grinding, sanding and polishing. He said the processes are labor intensive and require constant wrist movement for quality workmanship of the finished product.
After James graduated from High School, he attended a technical college in Chicago and after graduation worked for Sandia National Laboratory, a Research and Development Laboratory. He continued to help his parents with jewelry making until he was about 27 when he married Doris and they started their family.
James retired after working at Sandia for 33 years and returned to jewelry making with his wife Doris. He still helps his parents from time to time. In addition to working on the jewelry, James says he "spends his time farming, ranching and being a full time husband."
Doris also grew up in Santo Domingo Pueblo. Her father, Alfred Garcia, was a silversmith and a highway construction worker. He taught her how to carve bird fetishes from turquoise and other stones. She uses them in her Spirit Necklaces. Her mother, Mary Agnes Garcia, taught her how to cuts turquoise and other stones as well as sea shells. Doris helped her grind, sand, and polish turquoise necklaces. "On my own, I taught myself how to slice turquoise to make slab earrings and necklaces."
Doris said "We have taught and are still teaching our five daughters the art of making turquoise and shell jewelry."
James and Doris Coriz make jewelry in the traditional Santo Domingo way and use excellent Kingman and Sleeping Beauty Turquoise. The beads are hand cut and turned and show excellent character and workmanship. Making beads this way is very time consuming and the Coriz's high standards are obvious.
James has developed a very unique use of olive shells. He saw two animals in each olive shell. A bird and a fish. So he cuts a bird and a fish out of each shell and makes his signature necklaces out of them. His bird necklace is the very first item I bought from James and Doris - it is very special to me.
James and Doris use the leftovers from the shell as olive shell heishi and spacers in their other necklaces and James is proud of the fact that he uses "every single bit" of the shell.
Doris has a great flair for designing the necklaces and they all hang beautifully. James and Doris Coriz offer a wide variety from Spirit Necklaces to Treasure Necklaces, Jacklas, Spiny Oyster Fans, Spacers, GumBalls, and more. Browse what we have and check back often as we add more. We are glad to be able to offer you these wonderful authentic Santo Domingo pieces.