Key points ¤ Wild Horse Gallery has reopened for the summer season, showing work by Cate Potyen, Jay Moore, Tom Lockhart and others. ¤ 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays ¤ The gallery is located in the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Hotel ¤ Call 879-7660
Talk to Cate Potyen while she's absorbed in creating a new piece of jewelry, and she will barely hear you.
"It's very meditative," she said. "I don't have to think a lot. I'm a very visual person, and there are a lot of things to look at."
The chaos slowly gathers around her as she opens another drawer of beads. Directly beneath her gaze, order forms and beauty follows.
"It's an organic process," she said. "I like a lot of texture. I place different sizes and shapes together. I string and unstring until I get it the way I like it.
"What I do isn't that technically complex. The complexity comes in the color and design."
Like all creative work, it can take hours of work that seems to go nowhere before it suddenly comes together.
Potyen has been making jewelry since she was a college student in Berkeley, Calif., in the 1960s.
She started making jewelry as gifts for friends and to augment her wardrobe. She never imagined that anyone would want to buy it.
Shirley Stocks, owner of the Wild Horse Gallery, was the first to encourage her to sell her jewelry.
"Shirley is the best mentor I've ever had," Potyen said. "She gave me confidence and artistic guidance."
Now her work is on display in Santa Fe, N.M., at the Karen Melfi Gallery, in the Taos Art Museum gift shop, at the Harbinger Gallery in Arnold, Calif., at the Otero Gallery in Tubac, Ariz., and locally at the Wild Horse Gallery.
Potyen describes her jewelry as "elegant eclectic made with a versatile, neutral palette." Most of her jewelry is a combination of gemstones, silver, gold and beads.
"We adorn what we value," she said. "Your jewelry says something about who you are. It's a form of expression."