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We have included biographical information for your information on many of the fabulous Native American artists whose work we offer in our gallery.

Ed Aguilar Born and raised on the Santo Domingo Pueblo Reservation in New Mexico, Ed created jewelry for over 40 years. Ed was one of the few artists continuing the art of hand-pulled necklaces. Making these tiny silver beads by hand is time consuming and exacting, taking an infinite amount of patience and precision. Ed studied silversmithing at boarding school in Santa Fe. Like many others from the Pueblo, Ed worked as a hot shot firefighter during the summers. Before he could finish high school, his father was injured and unable to work. To support his mother, three sisters and two brothers, Ed quit school and went to work. In the 1960s, after watching his uncle "pull silver" into tubular beads for chains (also known as extruded silver), Ed decided to make jewelry. He taught himself how to make these beautiful pulled silver beads -- stringing them much the same as his mother had strung her hand cut stone and shell beads years before. His wife Mary used to help him with the stringing of the beads. Ed passed away in 2006 and he is greatly missed.

Harold Becenti Harold Becenti is from the southeastern part of the Navajo reservation, near Crownpoint, New Mexico. He has been silver smithing for 10 years. He has three children and is married. Harold has worked alongside Emma Bighand, another well known Navajo silversmith. He specializes in traditional antique styles using heavy gauge sterling silver and stamping set with natural turquoise stones.

Pat Bedonie
Pat Bedonie
Pat is a Navajo silversmith who lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her two children. She was born in 1965 in Ganado, Arizona and specializes in contemporary sterling silver jewelry with 14 karat gold accents.

Ann Begay Ann is a Navajo silversmith who was born in 1970. Ann began her career as a silversmith, buffer, and caster and then learned to inlay stones working with the Ray Tracey Gallery in Gallup. She is a multi-talented artist and specializes in inlay work and contemporary Navajo jewelry. She lives with her husband and three sons in Vanderwagon, New Mexico.

Annie Begay
Annie Begay Navajo artist
Annie was born in the fall of 1945 in Lukachukai, Arizona. She has been actively working with jewelry for 22 years making bracelets, earrings and pendants. Annie was taught by her father Henry Shorty Nez and has passed that knowledge on to her son James Begay, Jr. Annie especially enjoys making jewelry into the traditional cluster motifs. Her medium includes silver and Sleeping Beauty turquoise. She cuts and polishes all of the stones she uses in her jewelry.

Darryl Dean Begay
Darryl Begay
Darryl D. Begay was taught the art of Tufa casting from his uncle Bobby Begay. Through trial and error, Darryl has created his own style of jewelry. Rich in Navajo culture, hard work, and faith has brought Darryl recognition in the Native Art scene. Raymond C. Yazzie taught Darryl the difficult technique of corn row style inlay. Raymond also has been sharing his metal smithing techniques and has been a mentor to Darryl. Myron Panteah has also shown Darryl new techniques (Anodizing Niobium) that Darryl is incorporating into his artwork. The passion that Darryl has for his art has brought Darryl to new levels. Creating beautiful jewelry art and bringing joy to people’s lives has humbled Darryl. For now he is creating one masterpiece at a time. Darryl has won many awards and has been featured in several magazine articles, including two in Native People magazine (2003 and 2007) and an article in Southwest Art (2002).

Janet (Dornelda) Begay Janet comes from a family of artists; both her father and brother do inlay work. Janet started to inlay while she was still in high school and has now begun to teach her oldest son, age 8, to inlay. She resides in Manuelito, New Mexico with her family.

John Begay, Jr. John Begay, Junior is a very shy and private person. He has been making jewelry for over 25 years. The son of Navajo migrant workers, John Begay, Jr. was born in Phoenix, Arizona, during the winter harvest months there. Until he was 12 years old, his parents lived in Phoenix during the winter and returned to their native land in northern New Mexico for the summer. While in Phoenix they lived in a community made up of Navajo migrant workers, where Christianity was a big influence. When John was twelve, they moved back home to the Four Corners area for good. John attended high school in Shiprock, New Mexico. John's parents did some silversmith work, as did his aunts and uncles. He had one uncle who was renowned for his excellent work and he asked this uncle to teach him. The uncle wanted to be paid for lessons, but John could not afford them. So he began working on his own, devising tools and methods as he went. Adhering to traditional Navajo values, he has little desire for recognition or fame. He does not sign his jewelry work and is satisfied in using only 550 Silver & Supply's Monsterslayer shop hallmark stamp. John is a master smith and his real trademark is his painstaking design and exacting solder work. He specializes in classic old Navajo style and the very contemporary, sometimes blending the two styles together. Although he was raised a Christian, John has learned many things about his Navajo heritage. Now, as he does his work, he prays over it in the Navajo fashion. He says that he prays his work will go well; that he will be satisfied with it. He also desires blessings on those who represent his work and especially blessings on the purchaser of the jewelry, that they will be pleased with it, and have much satisfaction in wearing it. He lives with his wife, Lulu, and his son, Brian, near Shiprock, New Mexico.

Paul Begay
Paul Begay
Navajo silversmith Paul Begay was born and raised in Rehoboth, New Mexico, a small Dutch community near Gallup. He started making jewelry at age 32, over 20 years ago, learning skills from the local Zuni artists, and later worked with fellow artist Harry Morgan for a period of time, but has since developed his own style and won many awards for his traditionally made jewelry using only natural turquoise and coral stones.

Rebecca Begay
Rebecca Begay
Rebecca Tonabah Begay was born and raised on the Navajo reservation and grew up near Crownpoint, New Mexico and then attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, earning a degree in art education, but more importantly, this is where she met her husband Darryl. Darryl taught Rebecca the art of tufa cast work, in which a design is painstakingly cut into a piece of tufa stone and then the mold poured with sterling silver. The Begays only use Hopi tufa stone, which is the highest quality stone, known for its fineness which allows them to carve intricate designs into the stone. Darryl and Rebecca hand select all of the stones they use in his jewelry, and they only use gem quality natural stones. Rebecca's designs often come from nature and she loves water and rainbow designs. She also loves drawing and painting and has been accepted to show her jewelry at the highly respected Heard Museum Indian Market in Phoenix, Arizona. Rebecca and Darryl live in Gallup, New Mexico with their three sons. After each piece is made, the tufa stone mold is destroyed because she believes the spirit of the artist has been transferred from the stone into the jewelry.

Roland Begay Roland Hogan Begay is a Navajo silversmith who is famous for his storyteller jewelry. He was born near Gallup, New Mexico, attending a boarding school in Gallup and spending his summers working on a ranch. Here he learned about training and raising barrel racing horses. He went on to compete in rodeos with his barrel horses and also riding bulls. Roland's father taught him leather working and how to make saddles. Roland's saddles were highly sought after. He also learned silversmithing from his father and in 1974 he began producing the unique type of jewelry that has made him famous with collectors. Roland creates scenes from Navajo life in his jewelry using an overlay technique. He cuts out hogans, people, horses, and other parts of a pictures and solders them to a background of silver or gold. He is also well known for his Navajo basket jewelry made with copper and silver. Roland Begay's work has won awards at the Gallup Intertribal Ceremonial and at the Heard Museum annual show. He lives near Crownpoint, New Mexico and still raises barrel horses.

Ruth Ann Begay
Ruth Ann Begay
Ruth Ann Begay was born in Phoenix, Arizona. She learned how to silversmith by watching her mother and her sister. Ruth began silversmithing professionally after high school. She is now 53 years old, married and has one daughter, Desbah. Ruth and her husband live in Prewitt, New Mexico. She says that New Mexico is her favorite place to be. Ruth uses modern tools to make her jewelry. She taught herself how to finish silver jewelry. Ruth says that when she signs her name to a piece, it is important that the quality of her work be something that she can be proud of. Ruth thinks that teaching silver smithing sounds interesting. She says that the value of being an artist is that she can find jobs that allow her to be creative.

Wilson and Carol Begay Wilson and Carol Begay have been creating traditional Navajo jewelry since 1969. They came from families well known for jewelry making. Wilson's father, Luke, taught John Adair, author of "Navajo and Pueblo silversmiths" how to make sand cast jewelry. He worked for many years with Mike and Dean Kirk. Carol's parents, Angela and Allen Chee, were both silversmiths who worked for C.G. Wallace. The Begays began their career making sand cast jewelry, a traditional type of Navajo jewelry that requires the artist to carve the jewelry designs in Tufa stone to make a mold in which to pour molten silver. They are well known for their traditional sand cast work. Wilson concentrates on the casting and building the foundations of the jewelry and Carol sets the stones and does the finishing work.

Janelle Benally
Janelle Benally
Janelle Benally was born in summer of 1956 in Red Valley, Arizona to the Edgewater Clan (Navajo). She has been creating jewelry for eighteen years. She makes bracelets, earrings, rings and pendants using the overlay technique. Janelle uses silver and gold as her medium. Her favorite design is the water wave. Janelle says, "I enjoy creating artwork because I can stay at home and be able to support myself and my daughters."

Harrison Bitsue Harrison Bitsue is a fabulous Navajo silversmith who comes from a fine family of Navajo silversmiths. He specializes in sandcast work and creates beautiful jewelry based on early Navajo jewelry styles.

Emma Bighand Emma Bighand is from the southeastern part of the Navajo reservation, near Crownpoint, New Mexico. Her older brothers and sisters, who are also silversmiths, influenced her decision to take up jewelry making at an early age. Emma learned her art primarily from her parents, who are also accomplished silversmiths. She has been working at her art since 1984. Working with the basic elements of silver and stone, Emma crafts exquisite pieces of jewelry. Her favorite creations are pendants and brooches. Emma loves working with the one-of-a-kind stones, designing around their unique colors and shapes. When she is not busy silversmithing, Emma enjoys horseback riding on the reservation, working with her sheep, and collecting antiques.

Randy Boyd Navajo silversmith Randy Boyd was born and raised in Gallup, New Mexico. He began making jewelry at age 16 and has been working professionally as a jeweler for over 20 years. In his spare time, he raises cattle and practices roping in his back yard. His old style jewelry is made with the highest quality natural stones with Randy's unique flair for design.

Andy Cadman Andy Cadman was born in Gallup, New Mexico in 1966. He began his career in silversmithing at the age of 23. He is a half-brother to Gary and Sunshine Reeves, well-known silversmiths. He signs his work A. Cadman.

Darrell Cadman Navajo silversmith Darrell Cadman was born in 1969 in Gallup, New Mexico. He started working with silver in 1992. His brothers Andy and Donovan as well as his half brothers Gary and Sunshine Reeves are all very well known silversmiths. He signs his work "D" or "D Cadman."

Tom Charley
Thomas Charley
Thomas Charley is full blooded Native American Indian. He was born in 1952 into the Navajo Reservation. He was born and raised in Crownpoint, New Mexico. He has been creating jewelry since 1977. He specializes in his own unique contemporary style that he has developed on his own. His style is both stylish and very dramatic while still having all the character and ethics of his forefathers that introduced him into the business. Thomas’ jewelry features strong sterling silver links over which he has placed a wide row of domed silver bars that create a type of rope motif. Quite cleverly done, because by constructing it in this manner the jewelry is much, much lighter weight (and wears comfortably) than if it were of a solid casting style. Then, on the either side of his bracelets specifically the big ropes are two smaller ropes of twisted wire done by carefully wrapping two pieces of sterling silver around one another, set in a polished frame. His earrings, watches, rings, bracelets, concho belts, and bolo ties are all easily recognized by his beautiful sterling silver designs. His masterpieces are very stylish, elegant, and oh so sophisticated. He has always signed his jewelry with his logo TC Sterling. Thomas is related to: Bessie and Doris Charley (sisters), and Al Charley (brother) who also are This Bracelet features a strong Sterling Silver links over which he has placed a wide row of domed silver bars that create a rope motif. Quite clever, because by doing it this way it is much, much lighter weight (and comfortable to wear) than if it were a solid casting! Then on either side of the big rope are two small ropes of twisted wire done by carefully wrapping two pieces of sterling around one and other, set in a highly polished frame! This is very stylish - sophisticated and elegant! Awards: Navajo Nation Art Fair Window Rock, AZ

Bernyce Chavez
Bernyce Chavez
Bernyce is a Navajo artist from Canoncito, New Mexico. She has been silversmithing since 1988 after a disastrous try at shepherding. She says that her first time out with the sheep, she lost ten or fifteen of them and her father fired her that night. She began helping her older sister in her silversmithing work by making bezels (the thin silver band that holds the stone in place). Later she went to work for a jewelry production company in Albuquerque and there honed her skills. By the time that job ended, she was doing design work for them. Now she works on her own. Bernyce signs her work "BC" or "B Chavez."

Ava Marie Coriz
Ava Marie Coriz
Ava Marie “Cool-Ca-Ya” Coriz is a full blooded Native American Indian. She was born in 1948 into the Santo Domingo Pueblo. Ava is a member of the Antelope Clan. She was inspired to continue the long lived tradition of hand making jewelry from her ancestors. The lucrative aspect of the business also encouraged her to become a jewelry artist. Ava specializes in constructing hand strung and hand ground beaded necklaces. She was taught all the fundamentals of working with raw nuggets of various stones at the age of 14. She learned the art of working with silver in 1969. Today, Ava combines her knowledge of stones and silver to construct the finest beaded necklaces, using quality stones in the process. Ava is related to: Rodney Coriz, Daniel Coriz (nephews), and Lupe Pena (father). Awards: 1997 New Mexico State Fair 2nd Place, 1996 New Mexico State Fair 3rd Place, 1995 New Mexico State Fair 2nd Place.

James and Doris del Coriz
James and Doris del Coriz
James and Doris del Coriz are a husband and wife team of artists from the Santo Domingo Pueblo. James and Doris make all of their heishi by hand, cutting the beads from turquoise, coral, and shell. They excel in very fine heishi work.

Ira Custer Ira Custer is a Navajo silversmith from Defiance, New Mexico, where he works out of his home. Ira learned the art of silversmithing from his parents, Benny and Emily Custer, and he specializes in traditional sandcast work.

Jeanette Dale
Jeanetet Dale
Jeanette Dale was born in the summer of 1949 to the Red House Clan in Shiprock, New Mexico. In 1973, Jeanette was working at Fairchild Electronics in the Shiprock, New Mexico plant cutting out computer chips with a diamond saw. She was the fastest cutter at the plant with the best quality record, producing nearly four times the number of chips as her fellow workers. When the plant shut down that year, she lost her minimum wage job and didn't know what to do. Her mother, Juanita Begay, had been a well known silvermsith for years and offered to teach Jeanette the craft. Jeanette found that the precision she had shown cutting computer chips helped to make her work stand out. She showed the first piece she made, a ring, to a local dealer and he hired her to make jewelry for him. Jeanette makes bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces, and pendants and she prefers to work in the traditional Navajo style with heavy, deep stamping and high polishes. Jeanette's medium includes silver and gold, but she fell in love with the beautiful stones. Jeanette says, "I like to work around the shape of the stones to bring out its natural beauty. With unique, one of a kind stones, you can make unique, one of a kind jewelry."

Will Denetdale A quiet man and a thirty-something bachelor, Will Denetdale rises each morning to the sun and his work. It is a life he has chosen for himself. Every day he thinks about his art; every night he dreams about his work, the creation process stirring within him. Born at Fort Defiance, Arizona, Will attended high school in Gallup, New Mexico, where he took silversmithing classes. After graduating he stayed in Gallup for a while, working in the production of silver and turquoise jewelry, but his special talent craved personal expression. Will lives in Southern Arizona where he works in his home.

Don Dewa Zuni silversmith Don Dewa began making jewelry in 1970. After about 20 years of doing cluster work, Don learned mosaic inlay from his mother-in-law, Lorretta Quam Eriacho. He specializes in intricate mosaic and channel inlay, and is well known for his sunface spinner design jewelry.

Randy and Etta Endito
Randy and Etta Endito
Etta Endito grew up in Crownpoint, New Mexico. She gradually learned how to work with silver by assisting her mother after school. By the time she was 15, she was smithing part-time on her own as well. At age 18, she inaugurated her career as a full-time silversmith. After graduating from the Technical and Vocational Institute in Albuquerque in 1986, she began creating her own designs. Now she and her husband, Randy, and her sons work as a team to create elegant, contemporary, well-crafted designs. Randy helps her with heavy design stamping, shaping, and buffing. Her two older boys, although young, are contributing their artistic talents in design. In 1998 Etta's work was featured in the Indian Craft Shop, Department of Interior, in Washington, DC. She was one of eight Native American artists chosen from throughout the United States for this honor. Her work was also shown in the 1998 Spring Indian Market in Washington, DC.

Randall Endito
Randall Endito Navajo artist
Randall is a proud member of the Endito silversmithing family . "I like to see positive reactions from people looking at what I have made." Randall made his first piece of jewelry when he was 21. Most of his inspiration comes from his father, Randy. His parents, Randy and Etta, taught him to take pride in all he creates. It takes time and patience to create something beautiful. He says, "it's either perfect, or crap." Randall loves the challenge of working with silver. Randall and his wife live in Albuquerque and have a two-year-old son. Randall can't wait to teach this beautiful craft to his son Mikey.

Derrick Gordon Navajo silversmith Derrick Gordon was born in Gallup, New Mexico in 1971. He was taught by his uncle, Delbert Gordon, to silversmith and specializes in old pawn style jewelry with beautiful hand stamped designs and natural turquoise stones.

Jimmy Harrison
Jim Harrison
Jimmy Harrison is a member of the Red House Clan. He was born into the Navajo Reservation in 1952. Jim began his professional career as a jewelry craftsman in 1981. He was taught all the fundamentals of working with silver at the age of 16 when he enrolled in a silversmithing class in high school. Jimmy studied music at the University of New Mexico and painting on a scholarship at the Del Debbio School in Paris, France. Upon his return to the States, he worked with Preston Monongye and regards his son, Jessie, as his extended family. He credits Preston Monongye and Jessie Monongye for his success as a fine jewelry artisan. They shared their techniques with him and opened up his mind to his own designs. His designs are reflective of the bright stars of the New Mexico nights and the geometric forms of the landscape. They all play a part in his finely detailed inlay jewelry. With sleek and contemporary shapes and designs, he manages to balance the flavor of tradition with his stylized approach to indian imagery. It is believed that Preston, Jesse, and Jim were among the first jewelers to work extensively with inlay of multicolored stones and shells with silver. His designs continue to change and they include Hopi and Navajo Sunfaces, and the Yei-bei-chei. He experiments with landscapes and galaxies. On occasion, Jim adds a rug design as a border to his beautiful designs. The work of Jimmy Harrison is very distinctive and easily recognizable. He works primarily with sterling silver and authentic multi-colored iinlaidstones such as, coral, turquoise, lapis, sugilite, mother of pearl stones, and other various materials. His colorful and innovative inlays in his jewelry are inspired by the natural gifts that Mother Earth and Father Sky provide to each and every one of us. His creations include rings, necklaces, bolos, bracelets, earrings, and concho belts. His favorite designs are Yei bi chei figures, the galaxy of stars and landscapes of the Navajo Reservation. He stamps his jewelry as Jimmy Harrison.
Awards:   Northern Arizona Museum Best of Show, Navajo Nation Fair Best of Show, Eight Northern Pueblo Art Show Best of Show, 1988 Best of Show Santa Fe Indian Market, many others.

Shane Hendren
Jim Harrison
Shane R. Hendren was born in the fall of 1970 in Gallup NM, 30 miles south of his hometown of Tohatchi on the Navajo Nation. As a three year old his mother observed his desire and ability to draw. He drew what he was surrounded by - horses, cattle, cowboys, and indigenous people. As he matured, Shane continued to draw, paint and explore any creative avenue that was available to him.

Shane concentrated on art and agriculture while attending Moriarty High School at Moriarty NM. In the summer of 1987, the Marie Walsh Sharp Summer Art Institute at Colorado College, recognized his work and dedication to the arts, so he was selected to study and improve his skills at the institute.

Shane studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe NM, graduating with a degree in Museum Management. In 1991, the Governor of New Mexico, Bruce King, recognized Shane for his artistic and academic accomplishments at IAIA.

Shortly after graduation, his creativity, design skills, and sensitivity to the handling and display of art and artifacts was recognized by the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of the American Indian in New York City. Shane was contracted to assist in the installation of their very first exhibit. Upon returning to New Mexico, he completed the installation of the inaugural exhibit at the new IAIA Museum.

Although still involved in the arts, the museum work did not satisfy Shane's personal creative needs. Therefore, he enrolled at the University of New Mexico where he graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Arts. Shane was simultaneously riding bulls professionally and producing jewelry. He became proficient at advanced metal smithing techniques such as marriage of metals, mokume, and various forms of casting.

Shane has won countless awards at the New Mexico State Fair including Best of Show 2002. He has received awards at the juried shows at the Eitlejorg Museum's Indian Market, the Heard Museum's Indian Market, and Santa Fe Indian Market.

Shane has continued to produce winning work. However, his focus remains on his children: his son, Cody, also an artist, and his daughters, Kateri, Casey and Kyra. Shane continues to push his art to the limits to show his children and the world what is possible. Shane is a true example of art imitating life

Ron Henry Ron Henry is a full-time Navajo silversmith who was born and raised in Coyote Canyon, New Mexico on the Navajo Reservation but now lives in Arizona with his wife and children. He specializes in contemporary jewelry featuring heavy gauge sterling silver and 14 karat gold set with natural handcut inlaid stones. He and his wife Nicci work together in their shop in Arizona.

Ivan Howard
Ivan Howard
Navajo silversmith Ivan Howard learned silversmithing from a good friend who taught him during off-work hours. During the week, Mr. Howard is a senior electrical technician working with simulation systems. He used a bonus check to buy appropriate smithing tools, and his friend showed him the basic steps. The first big concho belt he made sold in five minutes in a gallery. Since then, he has continued to develop his talent, with critiques from his friend/mentor. Silversmithing is 'good therapy' which Mr. Howard practices in the evenings and on a regular half-day off. He has expanded the kind of work he does to include tufa casting and goldsmithing. He sometimes makes his own tools, which he considers more efficient than commercial tools. Mr. Howard says that selling his work at shows has helped him overcome his bashfulness and improve his communication skills. Ivan Howard attended high school in Richfield, Utah and served five years in the Navy. He has two young children.

Dina Huntinghorse Dina Huntinghorse is a Wichita jewelry designer who incorporates a blend of traditional and contemporary techniques to create masterful works of wearable art. Although gold and silver work is rarely seen among the tribes of the Great Plains, Dina's life experiences introduced her to the craft and inspired her to develop her own unique style. Raised in southwestern Oklahoma, Dina's first love was of horses. She learned to reproduce their likeness in pencil sketches and paintings. She was later taught the traditional art of beadwork by her aunt and became known for her beaded deerskin purses. In 1989, her interest in jewelry was piqued when her husband, Navajo jewelry Herbert Taylor, taught her to cut beads and do inlay work. Dina began making jewelry on her own in 1996. Her work is featured in galleries throughout the Southwest. She is a regular participant at the Heard Museum Market and Santa Fe Indian Market. Along with her respect for the horse, Dina is also known for her affection for the wolf. Through many of her designs, Dina honors her tribal teachings of the wolf's legendary hunting abilities and their human-like regard for the family (pack).

Tommy Jackson
Tommy Jackson
Tommy Jackson is a renowned Navajo silversmith who lives in Ganado, Arizona and has a studio in Gallup, New Mexico where he makes his jewelry. He graduated from Chinle High School in Arizona and has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. While he loves teaching, he feels that the Navajo people are not keeping up the art of silversmithing, so he has decided to combine his two loves and teach students the art of jewelry making. His wife Marie helps him in the work and does much of the stone cutting for the fine detail work on his inlay pieces. When Tommy isn’t making jewelry or teaching his students, he loves to spend his spare time riding his Harley. Tommy has won many awards for his jewelry and uses only the highest quality natural stones which he sets in both sterling silver and 14 karat gold.

Martha and Gene Jackson Martha and Gene Jackson are Navajo silversmiths from Arizona and are the parents of another of our favorite artists, Tommy Jackson. Martha teaches linguistics and literature at the local community college in Chinle but finds time to travel with her husband Gene to shows all around the Southwest to sell their beautifully handcrafted jewelry.

Albert Jake Navajo silversmith Albert Jake was born in 1959 in the Zuni Pueblo south of Gallup, New Mexico. He learned silversmithing from his parents. He has been smithing since 1987. He also creates sand paintings and makes pottery. During the summers he works as a forest fire fighter. He lives with his wife and two daughters today in Rahmah, New Mexico, near the Zuni Pueblo.

Mary John
Mary JOhn
Mary John is an outgoing person. Two dimples appear on either side of her mouth when she smiles or laughs. She lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A local Indian jewelry company hired her in 1993 and taught her everything she knows about silversmithing. Mary make earrings, pins, pendants, and bracelets. She excels at silver stamp work, stone setting, and cut silver designs. She signs her work with a single "M". "I'm always interested in learning more about my craft," she says. When she is not working, Mary enjoys cooking, going to movies, and playing Bingo.

Jimmie King, Jr.
Jimmie King, Jr.
Navajo silver and goldsmith Jimmie King, Jr. has been making jewelry for over 25 years. His unique style of heavy metal work and delicate inlay has gained him a reputation as a master jewelry. Every piece of Jimmie's jewelry is hand built and finished. Jimmie lives and works just off the northern edge of the Navajo reservation near Farmington, New Mexico. Well read and always taking time to learn new things, he listens to opera music as he creates his jewelry. Jimmie was one of the first Native American artists to create handcrafted, limited edition pieces of jewelry. He is the creator of the inlay cube, the solid link bracelet with the inlaid clasp, and the "Sky High" bracelet. He has won top awards at the Gallup Intertribal Ceremonial and has been featured in several books and magazines about Native American art. Jimmie's jewelry is signed in cursive with the initials "JR" for the first and last initials of his name. Six dots in a semi-circle above the letters stand for the six sacred directions; north, east, south, west, the sky, and the earth. Year ago in a ceremony, a medicine man told him that if he put these dots on his jewelry, everything would go well for him. He has, and it has.

Linda Marble
Linda Marble was born in the summer of 1949 at Manuelito Canyon, New Mexico to the Blacksheep Clan. She was taught the traditional sand casting technique from her aunt, Louise Morgan, and has been actively creating jewelry since the age of 13. Linda is a fifth-generation silversmith and has had the opportunity to teach her skills to two students during her career. Linda uses silver and turquoise to create her jewelry. Linda is especially fond of making old style bracelet designs.

Curtis Manygoats Curtis Manygoats is a Navajo silversmith who is in his late 30s. He was born in Tohatchi, New Mexico but now lives in Gallup. Curtis began his career working for Ray Tracey and learned to inlay and worked on some of Ray's signature pieces. He has a natural flair for color and design and specializes in detailed inlay work. Curtis has four brothers who are also silversmiths.

Calvin Martinez Calvin Martinez is a self-taught Navajo silversmith in his mid 40s who has been making jewelry for over 20 years. He comes from a well known family of silversmiths; his brother, Terry Martinez, is also a well-known silversmith. Calvin's jewelry is made with traditional old techniques, he makes everything by hand, including hand cutting his bezels, and only uses high quality natural stones in his work.

Harry Morgan
Harry Morgan
Harry Morgan passed away in 2007. He was an incredible fifth-generation Navajo silversmith from New Mexico who won many awards for his beautiful jewelry design. He began casting jewelry when he was seven years old and became a silversmith at age 12. After graduating from Gallup High School, Harry received a 4-year scholarship from the Navajo Tribe to study engineering, but school no longer interested him. Being a rodeo cowboy was his next dream. As the popularity of the sport continued, Harry met his certain levels of satisfaction but wanted to experiment with jewelry again. He opened his own silver supply store in Crownpoint, New Mexico and was inspired by his mother to create jewelry in the old pawn style, which he is now famous for. Harry was the nephew of two well known and popular silversmiths, Charlie Bitsue and Ike Wilson. Today, most of their high quality creations are collector items and can be found in many museums. The stamps that Harry used to decorate his work were inherited from his parents and uncles or made by him. Much of his work was made with silver that he rolled himself. He put a satin finish on every piece to give it an antique look. Harry got his ideas for his creations from the natural elements, such as nature, canyons, colors, and the different times of the day. Harry lived near Gallup, New Mexico, where he grew up. He won awards at every major Indian art show. Two of his five children have taken up the art of silversmithing.

Kelly Morgan
Kelly Morgan
Kelly Morgan is a sixth-generation Navajo silversmith. He is the oldest son of renowned silversmith Harry Morgan. Kelly's most natural talent is drawing, and he applies this art to his jewelry. Kelly has been working off and on with old style Navajo jewelry for eighteen years. Only until the passing of his dad has Kelly decided to seriously silversmith on a full-time basis. "My brothers and I don't want to let our dad's legacy to end. We want to carry it on out of respect and love for him." Kelly's goal is to earn the right and privilege to be regarded as a renowned silversmith.

Natasha Peshlakai Natasha Peshlakai is a Navajo silversmith in her 20s. She works with her father, Norbert Peshlakai, a master silver and goldsmith. Peshlakai is the Navajo word for silversmith.

Norbert Peshlakai. Norbert Peshlakai, Navajo, was born in 1953. Norbert Peshlakai is a master goldsmith. He also works in silver, set stones, makes shadow box jewelry, miniature silver and gold bowls, jars, pots. He started his career as a painter, but after a course in jewelry making, he found his unique mode of expression: traditional stamp work transformed into works of modern art. Many of his pieces tell stories in original imagery, and he is credited with creating a new form, silver pots and jars shaped like pottery. He describes his more current work as “sort of bumpy and rough, not a high polished look, but something more unfinished and earthy.” Norbert and his wife Linda have opened Peshlakai Vision, 206 S. Third St., the newest native owned art studio in downtown Gallup. The studio will highlight Norbert Peshlakai's work in a show entitled "Precious Memory" featuring the artist's pots, bowls, and plates in precious metal. They are the parents of Aaron and Natasha Peshlakai, both accomplished young jewelers.

Joe Piaso, Jr. Joe Piaso Jr. was born into a tradition of Navajo silversmiths. He was taught from an early age by both his father and grandfather. He also attended a school that taught master silversmith techniques where his unique talents and style were evident to the teachers, who often purchased his work.

Jimmy Poyer Navajo silversmith Jimmy Poyer was born in 1945 near Mexican Water, Arizona and raised near Red Mesa, south of the Four Corners. His traditional Navajo family upbringing gave him a strong sense of values. He attended high school in Shiprock and did well in school. He spent a few semesters at BYU and then at UNM before deciding that college was not for him. Instead, he felt the lure of travel and his first love, music. He played lead guitar and sang vocals all across the country for nearly two decades, often as the opening act for well-known country performers.
     He began to work as an apprentice to renowned jewelry Jimmie Harrison when he wasn't on tour. Soon he began making jewelry on his own, borrowing the inlay style from Harrison, but creating his own unique Native American designs. His new passion for jewelry making coincided with his desire to quit traveling and stay home with his wife Theresa and their children.
     Every piece of Jimmy's work is built by hand from sheet silver, wire, and natural stones. He enjoys working with turquoise, but is fascinated with the patterns and colors he gets from shells, malachite, jet, coral, and other semi-precious stones. Jimmy lives in Farmington, New Mexico and continues to make jewelry by hand, resisting the temptation to set up a shop or cast the silver and gold for his designs.

Sunshine Reeves Navajo silversmith Daniel "Sunshine" Reeves has won many awards for his work and has exhibited in shows and museums throughout the country. Sunshine learned to make jewelry from his older brothers, Gary and David Reeves, and is a master in the traditional art of using handmade stamps to cover his heavy sterling pieces with intricate designs. His work extends beyond jewelry into sterling silver boxes, lamps, picture frames, and even yoyos.

Alice Quam Alice Quam was a silversmith for almost 60 years and won many awards for what many collectors consider the finest Zuni cluster work available using the highest quality natural turquoise and coral stones. She was taught by her parents, Zuni silversmiths Doris and Wayne Ondelacy.

Bennie Ration
Bennie Ration
Bennie Ration was born March 21, 1955, on the Canoncito Navajo reservation in New Mexico, to Frances and John Ration. His father, who had been a silversmith since childhood, taught Bennie the art of silversmithing at the young age of eleven. His father told him that no matter what else he did with his life, he would always have silversmithing to fall back on. Throughout his childhood, Bennie was a talented artist. After he graduated from high school he enrolled in a one-year program at U.S. Silkscreen and Graphics School in Scottsdale, Arizona. Upon completion of the course he worked for three years as a silk screener and graphic designer. In 1978 he did fall back on the art of silversmithing. With a look and style that he had developed as a graphic designer, he began making three-dimensional figures in silver. His many wearable art designs include Kachina figures, Southwestern animals, feathers and Navajo inspired geometric patterns.

Benson Ration
Benson Ration
Benson Ration is a full blooded Native American who was born in 1953 into the Navajo Nation. He comes from a long line of silversmiths. His Father, John Benson, taught him all the fundamentals of silversmithing just like his father before him. Benson has been working with jewelry since the age of 13. He helped his father with his jewelry and watched with a careful eye so that someday he would be able to create his own style of jewelry. Benson has developed a unique style of jewelry, which includes necklaces, bolo ties, and earrings. He fashions traditional kachina dancers from raw silver with a coping saw. He draws all of his designs on the metal freehand, no stencils involved. The unique aspect of his jewelry is that you have several pieces within the necklace for example, you can remove certain parts of the necklace and it becomes a pendant, or it becomes either a lapel pin, or other pieces of jewelry, which you can fashion into whatever you would like to wear. Benson also paints with acrylics and oil paints. His trademark is the fancy kachinas which he constructs. Benson signs his jewelry as: B.R. followed by a hoof print to denote his clan origin. Benson is related to the following artists: Bennie Ration (brother) and Nelson Morgan (brother-in-law). Awards: 1996 Eight Northern Art Show 1st Place.

Charlene Reano
Charlene Reano
Charlene Sanchez-Reano is a full blooded Native American Indian. She was born in 1960 into the Santo Felipe Pueblo. She attended New Mexico Highlands University, where she majored in art. She was inspired to continue the long lived tradition of hand making jewelry from her clan members using ancient methods of constructing the fine jewelry. Charlene married into the Santo Domingo Pueblo and thats where she honed her skills in traditional jewelry making the Santo Domingo style. Santo Domingo jewelers have an incredible history of creating essentially the same type of jewelry perhaps for thousands of years. She collaborates with her husband, Frank Reano and they specialize in authentic handmade jewelry but the methods used to construct their beautiful pieces are the same ones which were passed down by the Reano family. While their beautiful pieces look very contemporary, the designs are combined with very ancient symbols. Charlene & Franks creativity and hard work have warranted the title of prize winning artists. Awards: 2000 Santa Fe Indian Market 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Place; 2001 Santa Fe Indian Market 1st, 2nd & 3rd Place; 2005 Santa Fe Indian Market Best of Division; 2005 Santa Fe Indian Market 1st Place.

Charlotte and Percy Reano
Charlotte and Percy Reano
Percy and Charlotte Reano are married and have 6 kids and many grandchildren. They are very well known for their inlay work done on shells and with the Reanos it is truly a family affair. Percy cuts the materials, grinds the shells, and does most the silver inlay and backings. Charlotte does all the pattern and gluing work. They taught their children how to make jewelry early and the they help. The Reanos' parents also did inlay work and sold the old Thunderbird necklaces at the train station during the depression and WWII.

Joe and Angie Reano
Joe and Angie Reano
Joe and Angie Reano are full blooded Native American Indians. They were born into the Santo Domingo Pueblo. They were blessed with a natural talent to continue the long-lived tradition of hand making jewelry from their ancestors using ancient methods of constructing the fine traditional jewelry. Santo Domingo jewelers have an incredible history of creating essentially the same type of jewelry for thousands of years. Joe collaborates with Angie Reano and they specialize in a wide variety of handmade heishi necklaces and beautiful traditional earrings in which each bead is authentically handmade. Their designs of the stone mosaic and shell earrings that they creates are beautiful, and while they appear very contemporary, the designs are very ancient. The learned all the fundamentals of working with raw nuggets of various stones at a very young age. They are related to: Vicky Reano Tortalita & Rose Reano (sisters), Joe I. Reano & Clara lovato (parents). The stamp their jewelry as JR or JLR over sterling silver. Awards: 1993 Santa Fe Indian Market 3rd Place; 1998 Santa Fe Indian Market 2nd Place; 1996 Santa Fe Indian Market 3rd Place.

Bonnie Sandoval
Bonnie Sandoval
Bonnie is a Navajo artist from Canoncito, New Mexico. She lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico and learned silversmithing from her mother in 1986. Both her parents and sister and brother are silversmiths.

Dean Sandoval
Dean Sandoval
Dean Sandoval is the brother of another of our favorite artists, Bonnie Sandoval. Dean was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to parents who are silversmiths. He grew up in Canoncito on the Navajo reservation, where he and his siblings learned the craft. Dean is married and has three young children. Dean loves the outdoors, but has given up his pastime of participating in rodeo events as he says he is "getting too old."

Sharon Sandoval San Felipe silversmith Sharon Sandoval is well known within the community for her excellent work as a silversmith as well as for her personal beauty. She takes particular pride in the pieces that require intricate detail and that often take many days to complete. Mrs. Sandoval makes her jewelry from scratch and can put hours of thought into the process of making a new piece. Mrs. Sandoval learned silversmithing on her own in her early twenties. She is a trained nurse but decided to work full time as a silversmith when the opportunity arose. She enjoys practicing her art and would be happy to teach children in her community how to silversmith. Mrs. Sharon Sandoval is married and has three children. She is from the San Felipe Pueblo, which is located between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico and still lives there with her family.

Lawrence Saufkie
Lawrence Saufkie
Hopi silversmith Lawrence Saufkie learned to make jewelry from his father Paul Saufkie, one of the artists who created the overlay style of jewelry, and he has been making jewelry for over 50 years. Lawrence works with his wife Griselda, who is a well known basket maker, and both of them have been named as Arizona Living Treasures, an honor given to less than 50 people.

Edison Smith Navajo silversmith Edison Smith makes all of his jewelry using traditional techniques, without the use of any electricity. Each piece is hand hammered and stamped using old metal stamps without the use of any machinery. He is well known for his exquisite jewelry designs made with the look of early Navajo jewelry.

Stephen Sockyma Stephen Sockyma is a Hopi silversmith who has been making jewelry for over 30 years. He is the brother of Michael and Mitchell Sockyma and he has won many awards for his jewelry.

Francis Tabaha Navajo silversmith Francis Tabaha is from the Kiyaani Clan, (the tower-house people). He was born in Hunter’s Point, Arizona to a family of 2 brothers and 10 sisters. The patterns of design in his jewelry have been handed down for many generations. At 16, his grandmother’s father taught him to file and at 21 he learned to finish jewelry. Francis learned to sandcast from his aunt and his mother. This was followed by inlay into the sand-cast pieces. Later, as his skill developed, he started to set diamonds in 14K gold. The etched designs on his sterling silver pieces are traditional. The look is contemporary. Francis starts with a picture in his mind influenced by the past and developed for the present. His jewelry has a clean and simple look that can be worn anywhere.

Mary Tafoya Santo Domingo artist Mary Tafoya, born Mary Coriz, is one of 11 children. She learned her jewelry making techniques from her father with influence from her mother. When she was a little girl, he would teach her about the different colors of turquoise from deep green to brilliant blue. He taught her that turquoise was turquoise no matter what, and the only difference in it was the color. She learned from him that turquoise was special to the village people because it is one of the oldest and first materials they honed their craft on. Mary created her first jewelry piece at about 10 years of age. She created small jaclas which her father took to Gallup to sell. He sold them for about $12 (which was a fortune to a little girl) and he gave her the money. Now, as she looks back, she wishes she had them as a keepsake of the journey she was destined to take in her jewelry-making career. Mary remembers she kept the money from that first sale for a long time not knowing if she'd ever see that much money again. Every once in a while, she would allow herself a little treat and she would pull a dollar bill from her "treasure" and go down to the store. Mary was also influenced by her mother who would cut out parts of the Thunderbird and set them. Mary would sit for hours and watch her mother work. She would listen to her mom and dad talk about jewelry, designs and techniques. Mary sat quietly, but the whole time she was a little sponge learning. Every now and then, she would ask her mother if she could cut. Her mother was kind and generous and would allow Mary time to practice. After time, Mary got good at cutting. In the same time she would sit and watch her parents, she would imagine ways to put things together in her head and soon she was suggesting to her father how to assemble pieces. Her ideas were strong and consistent, but she had no materials to work from, so she would rely on her parents to allow her to help in the family business of jewelry making. As she got older, her father taught her how to grind and slice and eventually she was allowed to use the polisher. Once she had access to the entire process and the machines, she began to make pieces on her own. Though the materials were still her father's, she would experiment on her own and soon developed the modern technique she has perfected today. Mary's unique approach to traditional jewelry-making is spiced by her contemporary eye. Her refreshing approach is more similar to painter's technique. One can imagine Picasso or Monet or Van Gogh in her pieces. Mary draws from nature…she keeps her eyes open and watches for the unusual and special for inspiration. She works from sketches and soon she creates her collector's pieces. She finds her love to still be turquoise, just as her father taught her and she loves olive shell and serpentine as well. Inspired by the natural shape of shells, and materials she uses, Mary allows the pieces to speak for themselves and she creates color, motion and form around them. Never far from her heart, Mary cherishes the love, patience and skill her parents gave to her in what has become a life-long passion

Orville TsinnieOrville Tsinnie Orville Tsinnie is a master Navajo silversmith who has been making jewelry since the 1970s and has won numerous awards, including a Lifetime Achievement award from the IACA. He and his wife Darlene work together from their gallery in Shiprock, New Mexico. Orville is a perfectionist, hand picking and polishing only the highest quality natural stones. He loves to use unusual and rare stones when creating his bold contemporary jewelry using traditional methods.

Lorraine Waatsa Lorraine Waatsa is the daughter of the late Alice Quam and the granddaughter of Doris and Wayne Ondelacy. Taught by her mother, Lorraine excels at detailed cluster work using the finest quality stones and has won many awards for her work.

Sam Werito Sam Werito was born in Gallup, New Mexico, and is Navajo. Sam's mother taught him and his siblings to do silversmithing. Sam says, "My sisters would show me what to do when we were all helping mother with her work. Then after that, I started working on my own stuff. After a few years, my brother started to teach me how to stamp (designs in silver)." Sam has now been silversmithing for a number of years. He gets his ideas for designs on such items as ranger sets and buckles by "just looking at different things. It doesn't matter what it is." Then he combines elements from what he sees to make designs. He says that he particularly enjoys his silversmithing occupation because he can plan his own work hours and be in charge of when he takes time off.

Ronnie Willie Ronnie Ray Willie learned silversmithing from his oldest brother, Lonnie, who is also a silversmith. In addition to jewelry, he makes kachinas and does sandpainting, sandcasting, rock sculpture, and wood-carving. He also likes to draw and is happy to report that his youngest son, Dakota, shares his passion for drawing. He has four children. He often makes his own tools and particularly enjoys working on antique bracelets and concho belts. He enjoys creating new designs and practices his art is his free time. Someday, he would like to teach young people how to silversmith and sculpture. It is important to him to keep his culture's traditions alive.

Geraldine Yazzie Geraldine Yazzie learned to silversmith from her mother. She has been smithing for over 17 years, and is known for her beautiful concho belts with wonderful, deep stamping. She is in her thirties and lives with her four children in Smith Lake on the Navajo reservation.

   


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