Two artists, Turza Wells and Andrew Shows, began working together in 1978. She was a silversmith from Illinois with a Bachelor's degree in art education, and he was a painter/sculptor from Maryland with a Bachelor's degree in painting and ceramics and a Master's degree in sculpture and drawing. They combined their talents and created a unique style of inlay and carved-stone jewelry, which is southwestern in origin yet universal in appeal.
Their goal is simplistic sophistication, allowing the gem materials to dominate and create drama rather than be hidden in obtuse designs. The range of materials is precious, semi-precious, shells, natural stones, and even stabilized and sometimes man-made. With the use of all of these materials, a wide and varied pallet of color is produced that very few artists dare to attempt. The application of their jewelry designs involves cutting and carving stones of different images, fabricating the sterling silver setting, and arranging them in designs that tell a story. The cutting and carving is a long and tedious process and must be handled with care and caution. Their metalwork skills have been honed from 42 years of experience, and the final polishing bring a lustrous, smooth, and tactile finish to each piece.
Together they have owned a gallery; sold to museums, including the St. Louis Art Museum, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY; worked in the fashion industry, with a feature in ELLE Magazine; and sold and displayed their work world-wide including Harrods of London. Now their jewelry is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Indian Art and Culture in Santa Fe, NM, though they are among the few non-Indians selected. Their goal had always been to create one-of-a-kind pieces that are wearable works of art, made solely by Turza and Andrew Shows.