Nancy and Ruddell Lanconsello

Introduction

Collectors everywhere recognize the work of Nancy and Ruddell Lanconsello. Their amazing jewelry is pretty hard to miss, stunning mosaic inlay displayed in very unique and signature patterns. However, you hardly see the two together and to get the chance to visit with them both was special.

Perry Null Trading

I always here the name Jacob (Jake) Haloo and how he taught all of these great Zuni inlay artists, how is he related to you?

Nancy and Ruddell Laconsello

He is my father. My mother, Lola Haloo helped him and was as important, but you never hear anyone mention her name.

Perry Null Trading

It is embarrassing, but I could not tell you what a piece of Jake Haloo jewelry looked like?

Nancy Laconsello

He passed away on October 13th 1969, so he has been gone a very long time. His work was not signed, so that also makes it difficult to identify his jewelry.

Perry Null Trading

What did he make?

Nancy Laconsello

He did lots of watch tips and pendants. He made a goonie bird (picture below, drawn by Nancy), it looks like a roadrunner, but not exactly. Also, did classic Zuni Sunfaces and Rainbow Men.

Perry Null Trading

Nancy, give me a quick brother and sister list?

Nancy Laconsello

Jake Livingston is a brother and married to Irene. Lolita Natachu is my sister, married to Fred, Fred & Lolita Natachu. Dolly Banteah is my sister, she is married to Albert. Rolando Haloo is my sister, she was married to Harlan Coonsis. Wayne and Alvin Haloo are my brothers. All of them do some type of artwork, either full time or on the side.

Perry Null Trading

You all learned from your parents?

Nancy Laconsello

As kids we all helped and watched our parents make jewelry. We started at an early age helping and by the time we were older we just knew how to do everything.

RudellNancyLaconsello

Perry Null Trading

Who else did your father teach?

Nancy Laconsello

His nephew Dennis Edaakie. Dennis had a job at a gas station up in Gallup. He would borrow my father’s car to make the trip and would take my fathers work up to Gallup to sell. Overtime he learned from my father and did his own style.

Perry Null Trading

What else do you remember about your father?

Nancy Laconsello

He would run far distances, he would go from Zuni to Nutria. He also raced horses and would do relay races. My father taught himself how to make jewelry, and passing it on to us has been special.

Perry Null Trading

Ruddell, where your parents artists too?

Ruddell Laconsello

Yes, my parents made traditional Zuni cluster work, like Ondelacy style but with unique crescent shapes around the center stone.

Perry Null Trading

What are their names, and did they teach you jewelry making?

Ruddell Laconsello

Frederick (Freddie) and Elsie. Yes, like Nancy I helped them and eventually learned how to make jewelry.

Perry Null Trading

When did you start making jewelry for income?

Ruddell Laconsello

I learned enough to make a few pieces to afford a portable 8-track stereo, once I had that I stopped making jewelry.

Perry Null Trading

Did you ever do any thing other than jewelry?

Ruddell Laconsello

I thought after high school I would go to Indian Arts Institute of America in Santa Fe to paint. However, I met Nancy and that ended that. Love at first sight.

Perry Null Trading

When did you meet Nancy?

Ruddell Laconsello

In 1977, I was friends with Wayne and would hang around their house. A year later we married, I hadn’t finished high school yet.

Perry Null Trading

Did you two start making jewelry together right away?

Nancy Laconsello

Ruddell was working in construction, but it didn’t take long before we were doing jewelry full-time.

Perry Null Trading

Ruddell, your first love was painting, did you think you would spend a career making jewelry?

Ruddell Laconsello

I don’t know. In the 1980s I joined the Zuni Police Department and was awarded a Medal of Valor by the Governor for getting some kids out of harms way.

Perry Null Trading

What was that about?

Ruddell Laconsello

Zuni had a shootout and kids were around the action and I took them to safety.

Perry Null Trading

That is wild, what else have you done?

Ruddell Laconsello

I was taking classes at the University of New Mexico and showed my professor a piece of jewelry Nancy and I made. He asked what we sold something like that for, and after I told him he looked at me a little strange and asked why I was there. Ever since then it has been jewelry full time.

Perry Null Trading

So, you started in the boom, have you always seen a demand for your work?

Ruddell Laconsello

We use to have dealers come to our house, give us a down payment and an order. We have always been able to make a living doing this.

Perry Null Trading

When did you start doing shows?

Ruddell Laconsello

Nancy never wanted to do shows. I kept being persistent and in 1987 we did Indian Market for the first time.

Perry Null Trading

How did you do?

Ruddell Laconsello

We didn’t sell anything the first day, the next we had sold out by 10:00 am.

Perry Null Trading

Did you do any other shows?

Ruddell Laconsello

We use to do the Heard, but now just do the Indian Market each year. It is hard to build an inventory with the orders we receive.

Perry Null Trading

Do you think Zuni has the young artists like it did when you were growing up?

Ruddell Laconsello

It is different. Zuni is always thriving with inspiring artists and hopefully that tradition continues.

Perry Null Trading

Do you have any children that will continue to do your style of work?

Ruddell Laconsello

Yes, we have two children that do art and show an interests.

Perry Null Trading

Thank you for taking the time to visit with us.



Available art from: Laconsello, Ruddell