Russ Kruse


“My true goal is to replicate beautiful art of Native cultures as authentically as possible.”

A love of detail work and a passion for creating drives Russ Kruse to create ever more intricate Native American headdresses. Whether a relatively simple halo style which surrounds the head, a bonnet with a hip length trail of feathers, or one with a floor length single or double trailer of feathers, Russ Kruse tackles it all with a dedication he has fostered his whole life.

Kruse’s skills were evident as a child with the budding artist re-creating Native American artifacts and weapons, particularly bows and arrows. Wood carving with Native American themes became an early focus before, as an adult, Russ Kruse learned lazy-stitch beadwork with glass seed beads and began to make all types of beaded items: brow bands for headdresses, knife sheaths, dance items, war shirts, pipe bags, cradle boards, and a wide variety of regalia. 

Deep studies by Russ Kruse into the culture of the tribes of North America, including his own Cherokee heritage, provided the insight and detail needed to gain the expertise now exhibited in his impressive body of work. The Native American headdresses Russ Kruse creates require him to have mastered many mediums: carving wood, knapping stones, beadwork, hand-stitching leather, hand-painting feathers, painting designs in acrylic on rawhide, leather, wood, and bone. 

Russ Kruse works back and forth on a couple of items at once. Most every day of the week finds him at work, in solitude, for the entire day. A single Native American headdress, depending on its complexity, can take up to four months to complete. Russ Kruse has created custom Native American headdresses for clients from photographs and has the drive to tackle most any request.

These are dramatic works of art - ones that compliment and elevate any collection of Native American or Southwest artworks.