“I construct each piece with sheet and wire first. My inspiration for design comes from many sources. The purple hues and angular shapes of the desert and mountains, a Frank Lloyd Wright building, petroglyphs, Mibres pottery, or the pyramids of Mexico are all examples of what may influence my art,” says Danny Romero. Danny, who initially set out to become a medical doctor, began experimenting with jewelry design as a hobby. He quickly discovered he had a natural talent and decided to pursue jewelry making as a career. He has never regretted his choice.
Danny, who is Yaqui, acknowledges that many of his sterling silver cast pieces are inspired by prehistoric petroglyph carvings and Hispanic religious symbols. Danny is also a recognized master of intricate inlay design. Working in both silver, 14k and 18k gold, he may include up to 1,500 individually cut pieces of precious and semi-precious stones in his one-of-a-kind pieces.
Painter John Nieto launched Danny in a new direction when he asked him to create an inlay version of one of his portraits. Now Danny is exploring the idea of portraiture in jewelry, using his artwork and the work of others for inspiration. “I like E.S. Curtis photographs,” he says, referring to the turn of the century photographer and the ethnographer who documented more than 80 native American tribes. “I go through magazines then I start drawing and go from there.”
From these sources, Danny produces detailed portraits in stones. “Lapis will be the darker colors, and yellow or red will be where the light is hitting. Pipestone out of Minnesota, which is a pottery kind of color, can be the shading, and pinks are the highlights. I enjoy bringing the colors of the earth to light."