Love Appreciate Respect Recycle

Kathy ELk Woman SmilingLove, Appreciate, Respect, Recycle this is the mantra that Kathy “Elk Woman” Whitman lives by. Her abundant creativity, fueled by this mantra, has moved into recycled jewelry.

What a wonderful surprise I experienced on Sunday. I was walking through the annual Santa Fe Indian Market (probably the biggest event of the year in Santa Fe), after hearing the inspiring Carlos Nakai, enjoying the amazing display of creative expression. Jewelry, paintings, photography, pottery and all things Native American. I stopped to admire some silver jewelry and started talking with Kathy the artist. I was not in “buying mode” and told her, but it didn’t matter to her at all. My deeper reluctance to try anything on was that I knew if I did I would be tempted to buy the original piece that had caught my eye… better to just look and keep some distance.

We started chatting and exchanged cards and I briefly told her about SmartLifeways. She responded telling me that she had been inspired to create recycled jewelry and then I noticed a rack of earrings and necklaces all made from recycled materials. Some of us might be used to seeing such items in the city, but here in the sea of Native American art it was a surprise to me. I found the earrings and necklaces made from aluminum cans really lovely and very wearable…undoubtedly a great use for the aluminum as long as people are still possessed to drink such beverages (but more on that in another piece).

I came back a few hours later with my camera and only then did I  take in all that was in Kathy’s booth. In addition to the beautiful silver jewelry, and the recycled pieces, were some of her mixed media work and also some sculptures from rock and alabaster. What a truly talented woman was in front of me…this was so much diversity from one person. Some of Kathy’s larger pieces are in downtown Scottsdale.

While I was there she sold a $1200 silver necklace, and I heard the woman say that she had to come back and buy it because she could feel the love that was infused in the jewelry.  I could sense that Kathy was more pleased about this than the actual sale…it was a wonderful confirmation for her deeper desire with her work, to share her love.

Kathy believes that “however you take care of things–your horse, your vehicle, your living–is how they will take care of you.” Buying recycled (and recycling) is a way that we all can take better care of the Earth in thanks for how well it has taken care of us, and continues to do so.

Here is Kathy’s info if you would life to contact her. She sells directly to the public and is also looking for new wholesale customers:

Kathy-Elk Woman-Whitman



Her web site will be up soon and I will repost this then with her web site.

Close up butterfly earrings-Kathy Elk WomanEarring close up-Kathy ELk Woman

Necklace by Kathy-Elk Woman

Kathy's flower-Reduce Reuse Recycle

Buffalos Live-Kathy Elk Woman

Silver Necklace-Kathy Elk Woman

I had to include a photo of the silver necklace that originally caught my eye. Amazing piece!