“Lapidary work is my interpretation of a multi-colored sculpture.” - Victor Gabriel
Victor Gabriel is Washoe Indian from the Lake Tahoe and Great Basin areas of California and Nevada. Born and raised in San Francisco, he spent summers with his grandmother and uncle in the Carson City Indian Colony in Nevada. Both instilled in him the Washoe culture and religion. It was through his grandmother, who beaded bottles and wove baskets, that Victor developed an appreciation of Indian art.
In 1972, Victor transferred from the University of San Francisco to D-Q University, a tribal college on the outskirts of Davis. He later attended the University of California at Davis. Searching for a form of artistic expression, he enrolled in Professor George Longfish’s Native American art course. Here he learned to make jewelry using beads, shells, porcupine quills and abalone shells. As his interest moved on to the art of silversmithing, he enrolled in the Indian Arts and Crafts Vocational Program taught by well-known jeweler and silversmith, Ben Nighthorse Campbell. In the same year Victor earned a certificate in Advanced Silversmith, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Native American studies with a minor in sociology. He later taught silversmith courses at D-Q University and at UC Davis.
Victor’s artistic talent is evident by his diverse styles, ranging from stamped silver work to contemporary inlay. He uses a variety of stones, from traditional turquoise, coral, lapis, and sugilite, to semi-precious gems such as Australian and Mexican fire opal, carnelian, amethyst, citrine, and chalcedony to mention a few. This broad use of stones and gems attracts just as broad a range of collectors.