Posted on Feb 19 2015
Mountaintop living agrees with Highlands, NC artist, Benjamin Forest. He is an accomplished silversmith, glass blower and potter. For the past eight years he has concentrated on making jewelry, which is shown at Silver Eagle Gallery in Highlands, NC and in Naples, FL. Soon, his work will also be featured at Enter the Earth in Asheville, NC. He has developed a strong following for his “Silver Shards” line of sterling silver rings, earrings, pendants, and bracelets. During his many trips to the Southwest, he began to take an interest in silversmithing. Several Native Americans generously allowed him into their studios to observe and learn. He was particularly inspired by the pottery shards from the ancient Anasazi tribe found scattered around the Four Corners area. The Anasazi mysteriously vanished from their highly developed dwellings in New Mexico around A. D. 1150. Once a thriving culture with a population of nearly 10,000, Anasazi practiced sophisticated farming techniques including dams, reservoirs, underground food storage rooms and well traveled trade routes. Today the entire culture lies in ruins with the unique pieces of broken pottery occasionally littering the ground. Stories told around the fire by the Pueblo people for generations suggest the entire tribe suddenly vanished. “I found the mystery of the Anasazi to be fascinating and while handling the broken pottery pieces in my studio one night, I was inspired to recreate them in silver,” Ben explains.