“I have always had a high respect for a person that could make things,” said Earnest, and I was “getting close to retirement and was looking for something to do that I enjoyed. This gave me the chance to be in the woods and make things with my hands.”
Ernest’s jewelry is the first of its kind to be exhibited in the BBTCAC Gallery. Much of his material (shed deer antlers) is foraged seasonally in the woods. He uses his collection of early American arrowheads, and he also uses his collection of Indian head pennies and buffalo head nickels as part of his jewelry designs.
Ideas for his jewelry comes “from trips out west” and trial and error. Most of his pieces are assembled in about two hours; however, the bonding agent sets in about twenty-four hours. He likes to create many types of jewelry but favors his finished bracelet pieces that are made of old silverware.
Earnest said that influences from living in the Black Belt still presents a learning environment but is he is aware that much of the art has been lost over time. His wife has created many art items as well, and he has worked with his grand-children also. When given the chance Earnest says he “always shares” his talent with others.
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