Turquoise and Sterling Silver Hoop Clip Earrings by Ralph Sena

These gypsy hoop earrings by Ralph Sena are highlighted by turquoise stones set in a substantial sterling silver bezel.  Signed Ralph Sena and stamped 925.

Turquoise stones in bezel are approximately 3/4" x 1 1/8".  Hoop is 1 1/2" in diameter.

Ralph Anthony Sena comes from a long line of blacksmiths which explains why he feels metalwork is "in his blood."  Ralph holds himself to the highest standards of workmanship and the stones and materials he uses are of the highest quality.  He works mostly in sterling silver using the techniques of forging and repoussé to manipulate the metal to showcase a precious or semi-precious stone.  His jewelry ranges from traditional filigree to unique contemporary designs.    

Ralph was an 11th grader in the late 1950’s when he used a silver quarter to make his first piece of jewelry.  Ralph would depart from his usual after-school route home to his grandmother's house. He would stop by a shop in Albuquerque to watch Native Americans hammer and torch silver into bracelets, earrings or other forms.

His connection to the Native American community continued throughout his career. For 13 years he worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Albuquerque as a draftsman and engineering technician.  Ralph still creates special pieces for Native American ceremonies and special events.  Ralph’s knowledge and experience as a master jeweler derives from many hours spent watching and interacting with Native American artisans and other local jewelers.  Ralph says his cultural roots and his Catholic faith have also influenced the type of work he does. 

Today, Ralph’s silver crosses and fine filigree jewelry is exhibited in Great Britain, Japan and Italy, as well as the New Mexico History Museum and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art (honored with the Spanish Colonial Arts Society’s Masters Award for Lifetime Achievement) in Santa Fe, the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos and the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff.  He is an active mentor to several young Hispanic artists.  Ralph lives in New Mexico.