Although Glenda Loretto originally worked in clay she switched her medium to metal in 2000 and has pursued a career in jewelry making ever since. She earned an Associate in Fine Arts degree at the Institute of American Indian Arts in 1993 and received a workshop scholarship to study jewelry making at Penland School of Crafts. She also studied jewelry casting at the Poeh Arts Center in Pojoaque, New Mexico. In 2009 she returned to the Institute to pursue her bachelor’s degree in jewelry. She has participated in the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Guild Museum Show since 2000 and in many invitational shows throughout the Southwest. She is profiled in the book Masters of Contemporary Indian Jewelry by Nancy Schiffer.
She says of her work: “I love textures. I create jewelry based on the natural environment. My work comes from and focuses on nature, which offers many textures that I cast from the shapes and surfaces of twigs, cedar branches, tufa (volcanic ash) and cuttlebone that are transformed when cast into silver and gold. Patience, exploring and improving my artistic abilities, and creating beautiful works are all processes that come from my soul. I may visualize a piece that I want to create and achieve, but only the inner soul will allow the piece to create itself, and that is with an open mind, open heart and most of all by challenging myself.”