La Muerta Bonita Cuff
14kt Yellow Gold, Sterling Silver, and Fossil ‘La Muerta Bonita’ Cuff By Artist Michelle Tapia. This cuff features a sterling silver bezel set fossil cabochon hand carved of a skull with a 14kt gold center flower crown, gold earrings, long silver strands of hair, and a silver butterfly charm below her face. A single sterling silver and 14kt gold center flower on each side of the skull. The skull measures 1 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch and is a size 5.25 cuff.
Santa Fe artist: Michelle Tapia
“My designs are all from my heart and my culture. My love of animals and anything of beauty influence me most.” — Michelle Tapia
Michelle Tapia learned the art of Scrimshaw and jewelry making from renowned Alaska native jewelry-makers, Denise and Samuel Wallace. Tapia uses fossilized walrus tusk and Tagua nut, a palm seed from Ecuador. Michelle never uses elephant ivory or fresh walrus tusk. The fossilized walrus tusk can be up to 20,000 years old. Tapia works from home in Santa Fe, hand carving each of her pieces, inspired by animals, nature, her Spanish upbringing, and her Tibetan Buddhist philosophies. Her designs are hand-inked and set in fine metals. Tapis is a winner of numerous awards including five Best In Show at Santa Fe’s Contemporary Spanish Market, Tapia’s creations have developed a following from around the world.