Santo Domingo and Acoma Pueblo
Althea Cajero is from the Pueblos of Santo Domingo and Acoma, in New Mexico. Her mother, Dorothy Tortalita, was a full-time silversmith, and her father, Tony Tortalita, was a lapidary jeweler and is now a tribal leader of Santo Domingo Pueblo. Her parents made their living creating art and selling their work under the Governor's Palace in Santa Fe and at art shows. Her appreciation for art came from growing up and being around it. She knew that one day art would be a part of her life, not really knowing whether it would be through collecting, selling, or creating it.
Althea grew up in Santo Domingo Pueblo and attended high school in Santa Fe, NM. After graduating from St. Catherine's High School she attended the University of New Mexico and was hired by the Indian Health Service and worked for them for almost 20 years.
In 2005, Althea and Joe Cajero, Jr., bronze and clay sculptor from Jemez Pueblo, were married. It was in being in his creative space that inspired her to think about her own creative capabilities.
From the Fall of 2004 to the Spring of 2006, she attended a jewelry class at the Poeh Arts Cultural Center in Pojoaque Pueblo, New Mexico. Fritz Casuse, her instructor and prominent Navajo jeweler, taught her to hand-fabricate and cast using silver and gold.
With the support of her husband, she resigned from the Indian Health Service and became a full-time artist. Fascinated by the beautiful texture of cuttlefish bone castings, she now creates a majority of her jewelry designs integrating the cuttlefish bone castings with hand fabrication. She works primarily in silver and gold, and integrates unique natural stones such as turquoise, jaspers, and agates as well as coral, natural shells and pearls. She continues to refine her skills by attending continued education courses and workshops, working with mentors, experimenting and following her intuition. She expresses her gratitude everyday for an incredibly blessed life.
"My understanding of my creativity is that it can be a deeper expression from my soul. My experience in creating jewelry is that I am continually learning who I am and what I can do. When I visualize a piece, I am inspired to create it. From creating it, I learn patience and acceptance; the patience to allow each process to take the necessary time, and the acceptance that it may not become exactly as I visualize. In this process, however, lies the potential of it becoming something even more beautiful than I imagined."
Cuttle Cast Circle Earrings w/ Abalone Shell by Althea CajeroPrice$175.00
Cuttle Cast Sterling Silver Circle Earrings by Althea CajeroPrice$135.00
Ravens Wing Sterling Silver Flower Earrings by Althea CajeroPrice$285.00
Freshwater Pearl Flower Ravens Wing Pendant on 18" Silver Chain by Althea CajeroPrice$185.00
Circle w/ Jet Pendant on 18" Sterling Silver Chain by Althea CajeroPrice$395.00
Cuttle Cast Earrings w/ Petersite Stones by Althea CajeroPrice$385.00
Oxidized Sterling Silver & Dragonfly Cuff by Althea CajeroPrice$485.00
Cuttle Cast Sterling Silver 4.5x Ring w/ Pink Freshwater Pearl by AlthePrice$225.00
Cuttle Cast Sterling Silver 6.75x Ring w/ Gray Freshwater Pearl by Althea CajeroPrice$250.00
Sterling Silver & #8 Turquoise Cuttle Cast 6x Ring by Althea CajeroPrice$485.00
S. Silver Swirl Tufa Cuttle Cast Post Earrings w/ Labradorite by Althea CajeroPrice$425.00
Sterling Silver Tufa Cuttle Cast Post Earrings w/ Jasper by Althea CajeroPrice$450.00
Silver Tufa Cuttle Cast Post Earrings w/ Moonstones by Althea CajeroPrice$385.00
SS Tufa Cuttle Butterfly Cuff w/ Freshwater Pearl by Althea CajeroPrice$885.00
SS Tufa Cuttle Cast w/ Natural Medium Coral Cuff by Althea CajeroPrice$785.00
SS Tufa Cuttle Cast w/ Natural New Lander Turquoise Cuff by Althea CajeroPrice$750.00
SS Tufa Cuttle Cast w/ Natural Royston Turquoise Cuff by Althea CajeroPrice$1,195.00
SS Tufa Flower Cast with Freshwater Pearl Earrings by Althea CajeroPrice$285.00
Medium Coral & Tufa Cuttle Heart on Leather by Althea CajeroPrice$685.00
SS Cuttlebone, w/ SS Dragonfly & White Cultured Pearl Cuff by Althea CajeroPrice$950.00
S. Silver Cuttle Cast Flower w/ Pink Freshwater Pearl 6.5x Ring by Althea CajeroPrice$295.00
Sterling Silver & Freshwater Pearl Flower Earrings by Althea CajeroPrice$285.00
Sterling Silver Yerrington, Nevada Turquoise & Coral Pendant by Althea CajeroOut of stock
4-String Medium Coral and Sterling Silver Cuttle Cast by Althea CajeroOut of stock
Sterling Silver Cuttle Cast Cuff w/ Floating SS Ribbon by Althea CajeroPrice$785.00
Sterling Silver Cuttle Cast w/ Nat. Morenci Turquoise Cuff by Althea CajeroOut of stock
Sterling Silver Tufa w/ Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Clip Earrings by Althea CajeroPrice$315.00
Medium Sterling Silver with Coral Earrings by Althea CajeroPrice$325.00
Medium Sterling Silver with S.B. Turquoise Disc Earrings by Althea CajeroPrice$325.00