Pat Pruitt studied mechanical engineering at SMU and landed a position in a prototype machine shop building one-off components for various mechanical devices. This apprenticeship was a true eyeopener for Pat and he considers learning the skills of a machinist as a blessing. He's a metalsmith by trade, making a variety of things like belt buckles, bracelets, and other gadgets. Pat only makes a couple knives a year which is why we consider ourselves lucky to be able to offer them to you.
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"My work is the creation of aesthetically pleasing objects of adornment for the discerning individual with non-traditional materials and fabrication technique utilizing evolving technology, equipment, and software. My designs reflect an influence of a modern traditional lifestyle, both on and off the reservation." —Pat Pruitt
– To step out of traditional fabrication techniques and materials, yet remain true to my sense of style, aesthetics, and tradition, with exotic materials that are both familiar and foreign to me.
– To pull artistic elements from various cultures (both native and non-native) across decades of industrial and traditional design.
– To gain recognition and acceptance by both my peers and community for the innovative use of technology in a market that is judged by its definition of *traditional*.
– To push the envelope on what is considered *native*
– Finally, to just have fun.
A Brief History:
Pat Pruitt, mixed breed native, 1/4 Laguna Pueblo (registered member), 1/4 Chirachaua Apache, 1/2 White Boy. Currently residing on the Laguna Pueblo Reservation in the village of Paguate, NM.
His occupational hazzard for 15 years running, has been owning, operating and managing Custom Steel Body Jewelry (www.customsteel.com) making stainless steel body jewelry for the body piercing industry. This was his start in working with stainless steel, specifically type 316LVM, 316L and 316.
Making jewelry started 20 years ago when Pat was fortunate enough to study under a local silversmith, Greg Lewis. Working in traditional materials (silver, copper) learning traditional repousse techniques (stamp and hammer), this gave him a firm foundation in jewelry fabrication, tool development, and general craftsmanship. Several years later, he met Charlie Bird, another esteemed jeweler from Paguate. He taught Pat a different view on silverwork and asthetics of jewelry design.
During his college years at Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX), Pat studied Mechanical Engineering and landed a position in a prototype machine shop building one off components for various mechanical devices. This apprentiship was a true eyeopener. Learning the skills of a machinist was a blessing. Pat thanks Geroge Sabolski for taking the time to teach him.
Acquiring all these skills eventually lead to the startup and growth of his current business, Custom Steel. Yet after many years producing jewelry for body piercing, Pat still craved making personal adornment like he had in years past.
It was only until recently that he felt comfortable introducing a new medium, style and technique (along with tons of encouragment from friends and artists a like) into a market that is solely defined by what native art *should* be. This time using a different skill set and utilizing a material that was familiar to him (SS). His design still has traditional native undertones, with a contemporary edge. Coupled with influences both on and off the reservation, industrial design, and limitations forced onto him by the material of choice.