Chris Gchachu's Arrowhead Pendant draws inspiration from the milky gray-and-white agate stone. Photograph by Inga Hendrickson.
CHRIS GCHACHU OFTEN LETS the stone show him the way. The self-taught Zuni Pueblo jeweler and stone carver began learning the craft six years ago, and discovered a passion for creating cabochons—polished but unfaceted gems. While he focuses mainly on rings set with petite, hand-cut gemstones such as aquamarine, Gchachu’s Arrowhead Pendant ($85) draws inspiration from the milky gray-and-white stone. “I don’t make arrowheads often, but I liked the way the agate is shaped,” he says. Gchachu repurposed leftover silver from previous projects to create the outline. “The final piece directs good energy, especially for Native Americans and Zunis in general. We use arrowheads in fetishes and bowls and on arrows,” says Gchachu, whose work is available at the Ancestral Rich Treasures of Zuni Cooperative, in Zuni Pueblo. “It feels good when you wear something like that.”