Kenneth Aguilar learned his extensive jewelry-making skills from his mother, Ventura, on the Santo Domingo pueblo (also known as the Kewa pueblo) in New Mexico where he was born, raised, and was elected Lt. Governor for the year 2015. The fifth most populous of the nineteen New Mexico pueblos, with conservative customs and culture, the pueblo is located roughly 25 miles southwest of Santa Fe. Its historic proximity to the ancient Cerrillos turquoise mines led to the Kewa people becoming known for the fine jewelry they created from these impressive stones.
Aguilar studied at the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe from 1967 to 1971 and has now been a jewelry artist for over forty years, well known for his highly skilled bead work.
With the assistance of his wife, Angie Crispin, Aguilar creates necklaces and other jewelry items from a variety of all-natural, semi-precious stones that he hand cuts and polishes in a variety of shapes and sizes. In addition to the highest quality domestic turquoise from Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico, including fine Kingman and Royston, Aguilar also works with gaspeite, lapis, coral, sugilite, opal and shells, including olive shells and both orange and purple spiny oyster shells. Sterling silver cones may also be part of his designs.
Necklaces by Kenneth Aguilar can range from delicate single strands to multiple strands to impressively over-sized beads – each one a unique work of art. Each piece created with such attention to detail that not only beauty but comfort is of paramount importance: Beads by Kenneth Aguilar flow through ones fingers and lay elegantly upon the body.
Vivid color and a combination of materials are the hallmark of a Kenneth Aguilar design and have allowed him to achieve his status as a premiere, award-winning jewelry artist.