BENNY and VALERIE ALDRICH
Benny and Valerie met while attending Northern Arizona University. True to the times, this hippie couple lived in a tipi in Prescott, Arizona. Later, they moved to Jerome, Arizona. These artist communities must have laid the ground work for what was to come! A few years after they married, both took a jewelry course from Mesa Community College. This was the only formal metal work training either has received.
To augment their income, they sold pipestone and serpentine from local quarries to Native American artists at Santo Domingo Pueble, a pueblo famous for bead making. The bead makers wanted to know how the raw materials would look when finished; so, Benny and DValerie drilled, polished and hand rolled the rough. The samples turned outso well that their new career in jewelry making was started!
Inspired by Mother Nature, Benny and Valerie created their own unique line of contemporary Southwestern jewelry. They developed an innovative procell of silver smithing and stone cutting. Aldrich inlay is reminiscent of intarsia, a method long practiced in Europe. They were among the first to use gemstones for inlaying. They use only the finest natuaral stones.
Aldrich Art is a small business. Benny and Valerie believe it is important to maintainl the high quality of their original, hand made inlay jewelry. At most, there may be up to fifteen people working in the studio (most are relatives and friends!). Each piece of jewelry is completed as a whole by one person, working to finish the hand cut inlay.
Benny and Valarie feel that creating their jewelry expresses the perfection of natuire and love for their family.