Tim Herrera - Cochiti


Tim Herrera is a IAIA alumni and has been doing jewelry since he attended there from 2000-04. He has shown at the SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market, The Heard Museum Guild Fair and Market and Native Treasures Indian Art Festival In Santa Fe, NM. He has won several awards for his work at Santa Fe Indian Market with the most recent being a 2nd place in 2012. In 2012 he was honored to receive the Wolfous Family Fellowship from the Wheelwright Museum of The American Indian. He has many inspirations and credits many teachers including Charlene Reano (Santo Domingo), Diane Tintor (NTA), Fritz Casuse (Dine) and also his father T. Arnold Herrera (Cochiti) in his work.


“I love working with my hands. I have learned to use them since I was very young and I value them greatly. I feel they are among my greatest assets. In my time on this earth I have done artwork in many forms including drawing, painting, ceramics and sculpture, although jewelry is my main focus. I am the son of a Cochiti Pueblo drum maker and am also known for this traditional art form.


My inspirations are many; from my pueblo upbringing to my everyday life. I spend a lot of time outdoors being both an avid fisherman and a hunter. As in my traditional pueblo culture I find great inspiration in the natural world. Everything outdoors speaks to me, from the sounds and the fluid motion of a stream, the wind blowing through the leaves of a tree, the birds in the sky, the mammals that walk this earth and the fish in the waters; all of these find their way into my works at times.


I am not a traditional jeweler for the most part, although some of my works are. I like to experiment with various styles and techniques and I am always pushing my limits to learn something new from each project I do. I am not afraid to fail, and I greatly attribute my successes to this, for even mistakes are not failures if I learn something good from the situation. I use traditional techniques such as overlay and tufa casting mostly while also having a love for cuttlebone casting. The cuttlebone casts keeps me connected to the water and I enjoy the excitement of each cast. I often don’t know what finished form a piece will take until after the pour is done. I use many different stones including turquoise and other natural materials such as coral, fossil ivory, shells and even wood at times.


In the future I will continue to learn, experiment and become the best jeweler and person I can be. My knowledge is for anyone who wishes to learn and I will gladly share what I know with others. I did not get where I am alone and I owe it to many before me and those who come after me.