There’s only one way to head West: with an aching in your heart. Somebody once whispered there’s a place out there, where love is the law and the law’s never fair. Where the caverns and canyons tremble and quake, as devotees of the sun yawn and wake. Where highways rumble and shake across the gleaming deserts and grassy cities of the plains. Among the curling rivers and geysers of steam, chasing the clouds to where the ocean churns blue, you’ll find yourself a home in the mountain of dreams, kick up your boots and enjoy the view.
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At the temple tip of every pair of Last Frontier glasses is a very special adornment: a sterling silver thunderbird directly inlaid with real, non-dyed Turquoise, a semi-precious stone with immense significance across the world.
For over 10,000 years, turquoise has captured the attention of the powerful and the artistic, attracting admirers from Ancient Egypt to China, Tibet to Turkey, and all the way to the very inspiration of the Last Frontier collection: the American Southwest.
Long considered a stone that guarantees health, good fortune, and protection from evil, the color-changing tendency of turquoise (ranging from white to sky blue to navy blue to a yellow-green) lends this semiprecious gemstone a mystical, almost sentient quality. In fact, the color changes depending on the environment, light, dust, and one’s skin acidity.
For the Last Frontier, we have sourced turquoise from The Kingman Turquoise Mine of Arizona, the last remaining commercially producing mine in the United States and one of the oldest and highest producing turquoise mines in America. Evidence suggests turquoise was mined in the surrounding areas dating as far back as 600 AD.
Kingman Turquoise is known for its beautiful sky blue color and produces many variations of blue Turquoise. Often containing other colors found in nature, including black, blue, and green (from inclusions of pyrite or dark veins of limonite), the look of turquoise is as diverse as it is beautiful. Every piece is unique, and tells its own story of origin, formation, and history.
Elevate your optical glasses by adding your prescription to select styles from the “Last Frontier.” Slake your thirsty eyes on the sweet water of the visible world in luxuriant, handcrafted frames that feature an unprecedented level of artistic and accomplished workmanship, resulting in glasses that combine elegance, power, and precision. SHOP THE COLLECTION
Jacques Marie Mage is honored to have the opportunity to pay homage to the traditional Native American craft of beadwork, by incorporating intricate hand-beaded temples on the Last Frontier’s “Arkansas” and “Dakota” glasses in a limited collector’s edition of 35 pieces each, created in collaboration with Kewa Pueblo artist Francisco Bailon.
Beadwork is an art form expressed and practiced throughout Native American tribes. Generations before Europeans arrived, Native American beadwork used primarily stone, shell, quills, and bone carved patiently with non-metal tools. Traditionally, these beads were larger and were created to accent jewelry items like buffalo-hide belts and necklaces, with each tribe developed designs, colors, patterns and techniques that served as unique identifiers.
The introduction of small glass beads through European trading revolutionized Native American beadwork, eliminating the time necessary to create beads and making it easier to incorporate more beads into increasingly complex designs. Eventually replacing quillwork, beadwork was soon integrated in other Native American items like art, clothing, tipis, moccasins and bags.
We have partnered with Mr. Bailon, founder of Anasazi Jeweler, to create these very special pieces. Son to a silversmith, Mr. Bailon has spent many years creating works influenced by Pueblo culture, history, landscapes and art. To create custom beaded temples for JMM, he used natural leather as a base to sew coveted size 15 charlotte beads sourced exclusively from a vendor in Santa Fe, NM. Also called true-cuts, charlotte beads are shaped like a regular seed bead but with one or two small facets that let them sparkle.
As with all JMM products, Mr. Bailon has incorporated first-class materials and generations of passed down experience to shape each impeccable piece into an object that communicates the beauty of nature and power of tradition.
In addition to the initial production of the “Pecos Collection” Jacques Marie Mage and Kewa Pueblo artist Francisco Bailon will also be producing ten (10) additional frames each with their own unique beaded design. These individual one-of-a-kind glasses will be numbered “1/1”. Jacques Marie Mage supports the following two Native American Associations: Sage to Saddle and Changing Woman Initiative. SHOP THE COLLECTION
In 1540, nearly 5,000 churro sheep accompanied Coronado and his men during his famous expedition. These sheep were valued more for their wool than as food, so the Chimayo settlers used them as their flocks when they reached New Mexico. In 1840, blankets were in high demand from nearby trading partners. Records reveal that tens of thousands of wool blankets were shipped from New Mexico. The Rio Grande blanket had been born, and it earned many Chimayo weavers well-deserved recognition and respect for their creativity.
Sadly, this fame was ultimately short-lived. After 40 years of booming success, the mill-woven blanket industry posed a major threat to many Chimayo weavers. New breeds of sheep with inferior wool and negative changes to lumber looms also made the blankets plummet in value. Eventually, the weavers and their creations fell off the map. Nonetheless, they continued their weaving efforts to make blankets for their families and friends! In the early 1900s, weavers from Santa Fe started a new blanket style that consisted of two simple stripes and a center design. The stripes are clearly derived from the Rio Grande blanket, and the center design is an outgrowth of Saltillo tapestry techniques. Along with a uniform texture obtained by the use of yarn from a standard source, the Chimayo style is very distinctive. This became known as the “Chimayo Design,” and it began a brand new industry for the weavers.
Jacques Marie Mage has partnered with still existing Chimayo weavers to develop our own custom design that is adorned on the Last Frontier veg-tan leather wallet. This painstaking process took over 9 months from start to completion and emphasizes JMM’s commitment to craftsmanship.
Jacques Marie Mage has long been inspired by the grave-strewn roads broad rolling hills and endless horizons of the American West with a special admiration for the traditional crafts and culture of the region’s Native peoples. That’s why we support the following two Native American Associations: Sage to Saddle and Changing Woman Initiative.
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