María Belén Nilson
Everything Maria designs is inspired from the rich tapestry that exists in Mexico, from the people to the artistic culture that seems to thrive in the country where she now calls home. Originally from Argentina,Maria is a very respected designer & business woman that I had the privilege of doing business with on my recent buying purchase in San Miguel de Allende Mexico, where she not only has a gallery there,but Taxco as well.
An extremely impressive business woman,Maria makes it a point to separate herself from many other manufactures, by giving each piece the individual attention & love they deserve,since everything is totally hand fabricated by the hands of Mexican artisans.You can see & feel this 'human touch' that is obvious in her jewelry,as well as the patience,compassion & consideration that each piece is given. She is Mexico’s leading female jewelry designer that is known in a man’s world.
REYAS & FARRELL PACHECO
Taking home the 2018 1st place prize ribbon for "BEST IN CLASS" & beating out all other jewelers at Santa Fe's Indian Market 2018.. Entering for the 1st time under his own name, was one of Farrell's luckiest moves & the Indian Market judges were right to choose them,seeing how obvious it is that this husband & wife duo aren't just your everyday artists,but something is extremely special about their jewelry,as well as their fine workmanship.It's different,it's fresh,it's contemporary,but yet very traditional! They take no shortcuts in their work & everything they do is done with the ‘power of the hand’!You will not find them buying anything from commercial manufactures that go into their work.They ‘roll’ their own beads by taking each bead & cutting,rounding, beveling & then drilling each, into a bead!They use no calipers & everything is done by “Eye & Feel”!
I couldn't feel more proud to carry this caliber of work & call them my personal friends.
CARLOS OF SANTA FE:
Ralph Lauren saw the same thing in this designer's work,that we all see in Carlos's jewelry & that is, the beauty of cluster styles from many decades ago that have some of the most eye grabbing appeal. Carlos's jewelry grabbed the attention of this iconic designer,so much that he was then asked to make jewelry for Ralph,that were then placed & photographed on Ralph's models back in around 2014 & were some of the best turquoise earrings that were worn by Ralph's models .
He specializes in Old School styles & designs jewelry that represents the look & feel of vintage Native American jewelry,as if it is weathered & aged.Put this together with his use of quality stones & each showcase a perfect balance between precious metal & precious stone.Carlos never uses inferior stone with his high quality work & you will be guaranteed the best,all the way around!
Carlos is the father of another Santa Fe artist, "Annelise Williamson'(Who worked with Mona Van Riper),who herself,ranks high as one of Santa Fe's in demand artisans!
ABOUT BUDDY LEE:
Buddy Lee is a respected & much loved Santa Fe artist who is known for having his own style & one thing you will not find with this Santa Fe'an artisans work, is the fact that you will not find duplicated pieces.And just like a painter, is the epitome of a 'true' artist,where he creates no 2 items alike.He is known for 'owning' his own style & has his own identifiable look,without following what every other artists are doing.His jewelry ranges from 'whimsical to abstract modern',while maintaining a southwest style..What you will get from Buddy, is 'old school',where his jewelry is made from start to finish,with everything created by hand & without the use of commercial manufactures.Many times you will find stones that are unheard of with his work & then lets the stones "speak & dictate" on how & what kind of artful piece they will sit in..Buddy takes from all things known to the SW & his jewelry designs are considered 'Wearable Art".
ABOUT Kim yubeta:
Kim Yubeta is a Tubac, Arizona based artist that is widely known not only here in Santa Fe,but all over the SW region, for her works in putting together charms of all sorts, that end up being "Theme" necklaces,that tell cultural stories.She combines antique treasures,with the contemporary,where she finds quality little tiny artifacts with different ethnic cultures & puts it all together,like a display,that can literally 'take you' to the place where the charms come from! Sometimes it can take her month's to make one necklace,since it is not easy finding the right colors & the same theme..That's a lot of time being spent to make just one necklace..She is one of the Southwests leading designers when it comes to statement style charm necklaces..She is highly collectible..
ABOUT GUY HOSKIE
Navajo Guy Hoskie is no beginner in the jewelry industry & has been doing jewelry for 20 or more years now.He calls Window Rock AZ.his home,where he lives with a wife & 2 sons.He is apart of a group of male Navajo silversmith's, that have all made a big name in today's Navajo jewelry..His inspirations & teachers are from people like the award winning "Sunshine" Reeves,as well as the Cadman's,Becenti's..
You will find a lot of similarities, where they all give the metal a very vintage finish,they all make heavy stamping apart of their art form,as well as using the best stones you will find in today's market.Guy keeps it "Old School",by not only staying very traditional in style,but gives the metal a "vintage revival" sort of look, as if it is aged.Never do you find his work with a shiny~contemporary finishing.Guy is collectible.
ABOUT PHILANDER BEGAY:
In such a relatively short period of time,Gallup Navajo artist Philander Begay's reputation has sky rocketed for being not only a 'Master' Tufa Cast artist,but one of the finest artists out there in today's industry.He has surpassed so many of the 'bigger' names in the industry & when it comes to awards,the Heard museum knew this artist was unique & very special at what he makes,so much that he had earned at least 3~"1st place" awards with them..One was when he took home 1st place in the category of "Best in Class in Jewelry" for his amazing concho belt.
Other awards he proudly deserved winning was at Santa Fe's Indian Market,(like the Super Bowl of Native American art) & in the summer of 2017, he beat out names like Sanderson,Tsinne,plus more,at the Navajo Nations judged jury event in Gallup..
Philander is known for not only his precise,very high end tufa cast jewelry,but is known for giving us depictions of Navajo ceremonial event's that are so beautifully displayed in all the jewelry he creates.You will not only get these very pictorial pieces, (that are almost like story tellers) but the finest Navajo jewelry on the market.
His jewelry is made for the true "connoisseur",for the more higher end type jewelry collectors,who collect only the finest & who collect anything but average types & desire very "one of a kind" Native American jewelry..
I feel very proud to bring Philanders quality of jewelry to my inventory!
ABOUT VINCENT PLATERO:
Born in Albuquerque in '58 and grew up on the Navajo reservation of To'hajiilee, 30 miles west. His parents/grandparents were silversmiths before him, he was taught by his Mother and still uses tools passed down to him by his ancestors and also makes his own stamps, which give his jewelry an extension of his own identity, onto the sterling.
Vincent is one Navajo artist that is high in demand and is on everyone's wishlist for great Navajo jewelry! Never creating two pieces exactly alike, he is known for his very identifiable hand stamp work, that takes precision, accuracy, dexterity and a good eye to do what he does.
There are a lot of artists that stamp, but there is no one like this artist that can do what he does, to silver. Vincent's stamping is the main focus, while others use stone and then stamp just enough to give the metal some look. He owns the work he does and has a very identifiable look.
Federico was raised in Oaxaca and it was during his youth that he fell in love with antiquities, after finding a large Pre-Colombian Mixtec Pectoral gold necklace in the back yard of the families house in Tututepec, Mexico. He has been a avid collector of Pre-Colombian, Vintage Taxco and Native American jewelry, as well as collecting native costumes ever since.
He developed his love for design through the years and has grown to be one of the most collectible, internationally recognized designers, in modern day jewelry. He takes us, where very few dare to go by creating head turning designs. He is the designer of choice to many worldly figures and celebrities.
He is known for playing a major role in bringing to the USA, the gorgeous Dove jewelry that is known to his birthplace of Oaxaca, which is called his "Frida" line. He once sat on the board of the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, NM. The Autry in LA and owns a Museum in Oaxaca that hold his collection and bares his name. You can also see his collections in museums in Mexico City.
Oaxaca Mexican born Carlos Gutierrez was born to make jewelry. He is literally the BEST jeweler I have the gift of knowing (And believe me,I know a lot!!!). He was taught by his father (who is featured in the book of "OAXACA MASTERS") who taught all his children, but Carlos was the one who took to it and got to be so good at such a young age, he was then able to support all of his family at the young age of 15 and is now 52. He is the go-to jeweler that others seek, for jewelry advice.
Featured previously at Santa Fe's yearly INTERNATIONAL FOLK ART MARKET, which was lucky for them to have such a true Oaxaca artist that brings us the real deal. You will find a lot of Doves, Filigree, Devotional Art themes, Sacred Hearts, Floral, Dia de los Muertos, Frida and many other spiritual and beautiful things known to Mexico in his jewelry, that influenced him to present day.
What you will get with Carlos is old school with the fact that the jewelry will be totally handmade, since he refuses to use anything made by manufactures, just like his father taught him. His jewelry cannot be made in a matter of hours, but sometimes days! He is a true professional and knows what he is doing when it comes to making anything you put in front of him. The words that stick with him the most are words his father told him years ago, "Never make anything, if you can't make it perfect". Yet, he does~
Wylie is the perfect example of the new generation of Native American silversmiths.
At the youthful age of just 25,Wylie is already considered a 'master artisan' whose innovative mixed metal designs are high in demand.His 1st jewelry creations appeared shortly after he begun taking lessons at the young age of 10.His father,is the well recognized artist,"Randy Secatero" who taught him how to cut,form,decorate & solder.Randy could not express enough how important 'accuracy' is with each step,always assuring that the piece would be as 'clean' & as close to perfection as possible!
Wylie's fascination with iconic Navajo rug patterns that are so intricately woven by his people from generations back,is what inspires him to incorporate these designs into metal form..
A TRUE Santa Fe/Southwest favorite, you can be assured of getting a piece that is totally hand fabricated. Everything he uses within his pieces, are not bought, pre-made by manufactures, but are all done by hand. Don is widely known for his Multi-Colored jewelry. Always setting the bar high by using the best gems out there. This will always be a guarantee when you buy any item of Don's. He ranks probably one of THE top Anglo southwest artists, making jewelry for over 40 years and that has Native inspired influences, being his roots are and have been for many years in the SW. Don is definitely no beginner and is highly collectible, having his own signature, highly identifiable look, with everything he does.
ABOUT MARTINE LOVATO :
Santo Domingo Pueblo people are the 'Lapidarists' of Native American art & their use of cutting shell & stone into hand made pieces of art,has been being made for centuries.His work is so exact & just by looking at the overall workmanship of each piece,it is highly obvious this man is no beginner & you will be able to tell he has been doing this for years.. He is considered a "Master Artist" & if you ever get your hands on his work,you will then see why.Matine's work impressed me for the fact that he is one,who still cuts everything by hand & also for the fact of how his pieces are made with impeccable precision, like no other..
Martine is nearly 70 & has been at this for around, 62 of those 70 years.He is one of the finest the Pueblo has the gift of calling their own & just like his card reads,"Master Jeweler of Santo Domingo",it could not have been put any more accurately.His work is some of the 'cleanest',that you may think his pieces are made by machine,since they are made with extreme precision,but just like his ancestral lineage taught him,all his work is by "eye & feel" & everything is created by hand..He is is beyond perfect & one word you cannot put on him,is "Average"..He is everything, but average! He owns his own style & you will be getting some of the 'Finer' art that the Pueblo produces!
KURTMEN LEATHER PURSES
KurtMen leather goods is created by a husband & wife duo where they live & work out of a little town in Texas with a population of 1,052,with many of them,working for this amazing company!! They have traveled all the way to Italy to discover the top quality leathers they then use for these purses....Each of the items they carry,are hand cut in factory & once cut,the setting department takes over,where all the crystals,studs,beading is done.The seamstresses meticulously put together piece by piece all the components that will eventually become a keepsake treasure..Lastly,before anything goes out,they are carefully inspected to make sure each have the quality & workmanship they are known for.
They have been featured in Cowboys & Indians magazine,Cowgirl magazine & even American Idol's "Kristy Lee Cook" was watched wearing there products on stage & screen!!
They are known for their originality,quality,attention to detail & unique color & pattern combination,always using the finest Italian leather available..
They design with a fun SW edge,creating purses & other leather goods that go with looks of the Southwest.
ABOUT AARON TOADLENA:
Raised in the Gallup,NM area,Navajo AARON TOADLENA is one artist that does not take his art for granted & believes it is a blessing",since he has been able to support his whole family,from making fine Navajo jewelry,for many years now..Aaron does not begin to make a piece,until his mind,eyes,heart & hands are all uninterrupted & in sync with one another.Always being the best he can be & doing the best he can do,it is always obvious in his jewelry.
Aaron keeps his jewelry in a traditional,'old school' Navajo style,by still doing it all by hand & this is one reason he does not do cast work,since he would rather hammer the silver & whatever else it takes,just like his ancestors did. He seems to be a regular in the highly read"Cowboys & Indians" Magazine,as well as haven been in the Oprah Magazine!He worked at one time with the famed"Ray Tracey" & also has done shows at the Boston & the St Louis Art Museum..His jewelry is such that,can't get more Navajo,than what this master jewelry artist is doing..He is highly collectible.
Barbosa is a family based fine jewelry company that is Santa Fe's sister city of SAN MIGUEL de ALLENDE MEXICO. It was created by head chief designer, Felipe Barbosa who has designed jewelry for Vanessa Swarovski, as well as Carlos Santana. Barbosa also created accessories and trophies, such as the Silver Cross for the Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF). They bring us all the charm, the culture, the folk art beauty and all things known to Mexico. Giving us all the look we love! Please enjoy the Art and Culture they bring to the table!
ABOUT ELEANOR LARGO:
Eleanor is a Navajo Silversmith from the Towering House (Kinya'oanii) and Salt (Ashii'i) Clan. Born in 1953, she has been doing jewelry since being a teenager. She specializes in cluster work and earrings that are typically known to the Zuni Pueblo People. What I love about her, is that it matters to her. How good and perfect her jewelry comes out. She is a true perfectionist, beyond precise and exact. Her work is so finely detailed and she ranks up there, being one of the better female silversmiths when it comes to workmanship. Her work is very similar to the late Emma Lincoln.
ABOUT GENE NATON:
Navajo Gene Naton, has a habit of knowing how to choose the right stones and has an intuitive eye for the silver work that follows. A resident of NM, Gene is definitely no beginner in the industry and is known for keeping his jewelry very traditional Navajo and is always designing the best you will find out in todays market.
His work ranks high and is very similar to the Reeve's, Hoskie's, Becenti's or the Cadman's, when it comes to keeping it traditional and never getting contemporary on us!
ABOUT AARON JOHN:
Raised & still residing in his birthplace of Fort Defiance Arizona,Aaron wasn't always a jeweler,like so many other Navajo children, who would watch their parents,aunts,uncles make jewelry,but started out as a coal man for Chevron,turned jeweler later in life..On his down times,Aaron would sit there & draw..and draw...Mostly hummingbirds & dragonflies,which ironically turned out to be included his 'signature' style...He is totally self taught & now his children are following in his footsteps.Once you get to know Aaron's work,you will be able to identify him in a instant,since he has his own style!
ABOUT LEO FEENEY:
Arizona artist LEO FEENEY put the word"Glam" in Glamorous,high end SW jewelry..Leo is known for mixing stones, known to SW jewelry and raises the bar by putting faceted gems with them. One thing that is going to be a guarantee is the fact that you are going to get the best turquoise, the best coral and the best in faceted colored gems. Always making it a point to use the best quality natural stones possible and consistently choosing these stones with fantastic lapidary work that are perfectly cut and polished, boosting the appearance.
Leo's work can can be found in higher end stores throughout the SW.
ABOUT ANDY CADMAN:
Gallup NM based Navajo Andy Cadman was born in 1966 and is a part of modern-day Navajo silversmiths, that have all made their mark in the industry. Whether it's Andy's younger brother Darrell Cadman or whether it's his half brothers, the renowned award winner Sunshine Reeves and Gary Reeves. No matter which direction these artists turned toward, these relatively young metalsmiths, actually learned much of their trade from the now deceased David Reeves. Whether a Cadman or a Reeves they have one thing in common, and that is, an element of apprenticeship that exhibits certain similarities in their work. Andy has made a great name in this industry and is considered collectible.
ABOUT MARY TAFOYA
I remember years ago,where for the 1st time I came across a Mary Tafoya piece in one of the Museums here in Santa Fe..All I remember was her work literally stopped me in my tracks & in all the years in this business,she stood out like nothing I had never seen before & literally left me drooling at the museums window! It's not only for the fact that she has her own 'signature look', but because her pieces have a 'happy, & very whimsical" look to them & being a Folk Art lover myself,that drew me in even more for her serious "Folk Art" feel she gives each piece...Mary's jewelry has a contemporary Santa Domingo appearance,but at the same time,maintaining "Old School/Traditional" techniques..
She comes from ancestry that passed the art of mosaic down to their children & is also the sister to another very dear friend of mine,"JOLENE BIRD"..Her mother & father did the old Santo Domingo "Thunderbird" necklaces that they would mosaic onto Battery Casings & LP albums. Her work is ultra colorful,unique & has a positive feel in all she makes & will not sit down to create,unless her mind,heart,spirit,hands are in all in sync.You can find Mary's jewelry in many prestigious Museums like the Smithsonian,the Heard Museum & galleries internationally..Her work is unlike any other Ke-Wa artist & "Owns" her style!
She comes from ancestry that passed the art of mosaic down to their children & is also the sister to another very dear friend of mine,"JOLENE BIRD"..Their mother & father did the old Santo Domingo "Thunderbird" necklaces that they would mosaic onto Battery Casings & LP albums.
Her work is ultra colorful,unique & has a positive feel in all she makes & will not sit down to create,unless her mind,heart,spirit,hands are in all in sync..No where else,will you find this type of art!You can find Mary in the Smithsonian,the Heard Museum & galleries internationally.
ABOUT JOLENE BIRD:
Jolene Bird has climbed high ladders to get to the level shes at. It took years to finally achieve her own identifiable style and it has paid off by winning every imaginable award possible. From winning numerous 1st place awards to winning "best of show". Knowing her well, I am always amazed seeing her do designs that one would never think was possible! I am impressed how she sees "Everything having the ability to be mosaic'd". She has gone from taking HUGE gourds and fully making mosaics of them into pieces of collectible art, to doing these one of a kind type, jewelry pieces.
She learned the art of mosaic from her ancestry, which at that time her parents and grandparents were doing the old Thunderbird necklaces with battery casing and LP backings and were very much known to the Santo Domingo Pueblo. Jolene is also the sister of another wonderful artist, Mary Tafoya.
Jolene takes Pueblo Art to a whole new level while maintaining ancient techniques. She is highly collectible and is in Museums/Galleries around the USA.
ABOUT RONNIE WILLIE:
Navajo Ronnie Willie makes Albuquerque, NM his home. Known for his heavy gauge cuffs, with lots of crosses and beads of sterling he extends his love for creating by being a sand painter, sand caster, Katchina carver, rock sculptor, wood carver which most of these things he does more on the side since he mainly focuses on silversmithing 5 days a week. He makes his own stamps and other tools he uses in his jewelry which give his work its own identity. He is considered one of the best in present day jewelry and it's a guarantee you will be getting a piece of jewelry with only the finest quality workmanship.
ABOUT KIRK SMITH:
He started in the 60s learning silversmithing, while helping his Grandfather in '72 went out on his own after working for clothes and shoes, from helping his uncle do sand cast pieces. But wasn't until he hooked up with brother~in ~law Harry Morgan in the 80s that he really started paying attention to design and being Harry having a big name, Kirk said he wanted to be "one of those people".
It was Harry though who was the innovator of Old Pawn, Vintage Revival, Classic 1930s style Navajo jewelry that Kirk learned from and ended up surpassing him in. This would become the style, that many of todays modern day Navajo silversmiths have jumped on the band wagon doing and repeated Kirk's style. He was the culprit you may say as to why we see SW jewelry so heavily oxidized.
Being the man he was, he believed in giving back and went on to teach others like Anthony Skeets, the Martinez family, and Fred and Dean Brown so in return they could help their families and take the money from sales to help others. His Grandfather once told him"When you leave something here, your name will always be here".
ABOUT PANSY JOHNSON:
Pansy Johnson was just a teenager in the mid-70s when major fashion designers and celebrities bedecked themselves in turquoise and silver and helped to create a nationwide attraction and demand for Native American jewelry. It was a good time for Pansy,as she begun to make traditional Navajo silverwork at the age of 12 and was able in her high school days to earn extra money to buy herself cool clothes with the money she earned from silversmithing. Like many Navajo children,she was blessed with talented silversmith parents,who passed their knowledge of turning metal & stone to precious pieces of jewelry along to their children.
Gallup NM is often referred as the "Indian Jewelry Making Capitol"of the world,due to it's proximity to the reservation communities & traditional,vast lands of the Navajo people.It is here that Pansy was born & raised & into adulthood continued to practice & perfect her jewelry making talents.
Today,she can create most any beautiful jewelry design requested.Her speciality though,is the precise stone cluster work she does,that requires patience & skill,that only few achieve.Her work is as precise as the late"Emma Lincoln" & with Emma unfortunately gone,Pansy is the lady to watch out for!!
ABOUT RHED LUCY:
Native Houstonian Julie Stevenson shares a bit of her personality with her high-end contemporary western jewelry line Rhed Lucy. Like her, Rhed Lucy pieces are fresh and modern, with a nod to influences from the west and southwest. A Marketing and Fashion Merchandising major, Julie saw a void in the Western fashion market for stunning, non-traditional statement jewelry appealing to a broad range of chic, bold women, and launched Rhed Lucy in 2003.
Rhed Lucy offers unique and creative color combinations and semi-precious stone combinations that Julie has become known for. Julie is committed to bringing a quality hand-crafted product to her customers and oversees all aspects, ensuring that the hand forged pieces are made without molds or casts, and that the stones are set to her specifications. Her many loyal fans enjoy knowing that their beloved pieces are not just beautiful, but are as unique as they are!
If you have seen the Double D Ranch or Roja Clothing ads,Julies earrings can be seen worn by the models
Raised in Thoreau NM,Lee Charley's environment in jewelry,seemed like it couldn't be avoided..Back in '84 he was being taught & influenced by his mother Nellie,who was also a silversmith & whom he would help out.His brother is another phenomenal artist"Ernest Rangel" & Lee is married to Calvin Martinez's sister Karen.His son is Matthew Charley & started the same way Lee started & that was by helping out with the buffing & whatever else needed to be done..Matthew has gone on to take home 1st Place in the Gallup Ceremonies
World renown Award winner "Sunshine Reeves" is no beginner when it comes to creating jewelry,if not masterpieces.He is known for his signature style stampwork,in not only what he uses to create jewelry,but for his fully stamped canteens, his fully stamped "Train" that he won "Best of Class" at the 1998 Indian Market here in Santa Fe & the prior year,winning "Best of Show" for his "Cowboy Coffee Set". The list is too long to list of this one artist's accomplishments.
He is the brother to Gary & Herman,while his 1/2 brothers are the "Cadmans".All are known in the industry & all hold a name,when it comes to quality & traditional,old school Navajo jewelry.
Presently living in LA,Calif.,Mario Romero originally came from El Salvador & has worked side by side Federico Jimenez for many a year now.He works under the direction of Federico & nothing gets passed through Federico's inventory,without his "stamp of approval"..Mario uses more of a contemporary approach to design & also specializes in large Dove pieces,as well as Sacred Heart jewelry..Everything he masters,you can be guaranteed the work will be all made by his skilled hands.His work is precise & very well executed!! He follows Federico's signature"Statement" style,while maintaining an identifiable look of his own.
Randall Endito grew up in a family of silversmiths & learned his techniques from his parents.Born in Gallup on Jan.1,1980 to the Tangle Water into Bitter Clan,Randall continues to live & work in New Mexico.You will find,clean lines & detailed stamping,along with scroll work, that gives him his unique style & makes patrons of Southwest jewelry, always being delighted with anything he brings to the table!
Arnold Blackgoat lives on the Navajo Reservation in "Black Hat"New Mexico...He has been silversmithing since the age of 8,by helping his Grandmother,"Helen Blackgoat & his well known Uncle"Carson Blackgoat".He stays extremely true to his culture & no matter how far artists grow & move into a more modern world,Arnold stays close to his Navajo roots when it comes to design.You will always get a more traditional Navajo style in all he makes..
Born in 1968 & raised in Gallup,NM,Donovan & his family now reside in the town of Gamerco,NM just outside Gallup.Inspiration & lessons can't help but be learned,if you come from the family that Donovan is a part of..After all, Donovan's older brothers are Andy & Darrell Cadman & his half brothers,happen to be the renowned award winner Sunshine Reeves & Gary Reeves..But,whether a Cadman or a Reeves,they have one thing in common & that is, a element of apprenticeship & exhibit certain similarities in their work,with all of them keeping every thing they do,very traditional!
Readda wasn't a Begay all her life,but was a Martinez before marrying silversmith,Ernest Begay..She comes from a family who are well recognized in the Navajo jewelry industry,which is the Martinez family.To name a few,her brothers are Calvin,Terry,Leon,Rick Martinez..And to have this type of influence,how could you not produce some of the finest jewelry? Readda & Ernest live outside Gallup in a town called "Bread Springs",here in NM.
Navajo Gloria Begay is the widow of one of the most missed & more higher collectible passing artists in the industry.."KIRK SMITH".What better artist to have worked & learned from,but Kirk! Gloria was left with a true gift to be able to pass on to us,giving us the same quality workmanship,along with the same look..If you are familiar with Kirk's work,you will see a lot of similarities & if you didn't look at the hallmark,you may even think the piece was Kirk's.The vintage revival finished sterling (that Kirk was responsible for bringing to the industry),the way the stones are set & just the whole overall look,all remind you of Kirk's work. And just like Kirk,her work is super clean & precise,with the greatest attention to detail given to each & every piece she makes..Gloria is a collectible artist..
Raymond Bennett has been a silversmith since 1994. He lives in Gallup,NM,where he was born and raised. He learned his jewelry skills from his family members, including both his parents and his uncles.His work is traditional & gives each piece a more vintage style quality.
ERNEST ROY BEGAY:
Ernest comes from the heart of the Navajo reservation on the Arizona side & happens to be the husband to another great artist "Readda Begay"(Please look in my listings)..Ernest wasn't always a metal smith,but a coal miner,turned jeweler..After taking classes in jewelry making in HS,he ended up making jewelry,but put it on the back burner,so he could work...One day he decided to make a few great pieces & enter them in the highly recognized"Gallup Intertribal Indian Ceremony" that is jury judged event & happened to end up winning,Best of Show,Best in Category,1st,2nd & a few 3rd. places.The mine & the rest became history! He turned his attention to solely making jewelry,where he continues to create these award winning pieces..
It was a year ago that we lost Emma to a brain aneurysm & was considered one of the best & most collectible when it came to making cluster jewelry..It wasn't just the cluster work,but her meticulous workmanship that made her so much in demand.Cluster work is not something every artist enjoys doing,since it takes good dexterity to work with such small stones & also a lot of patience..But the end result that we all have had the privilege of witnessing,has been so rewarding.
Navajo Etta Endito hails from Church Rock,NM,right in the heart of the Navajo reservation..She is no beginner,as you can see by zooming in on all the photos provided on her pieces listed & learned her art in the beginning of her career not only from her mom,(who learned from her ancestors) but also collaborates with her silversmith husband "Randy Endito"..Her work is top notch & everything I have ever bought of her's,has had exquisite workmanship & a real feminine feel & touch, to her pieces..
Paul Livingston was born in 1954 and has spent his entire life on the Navajo Church Rock Reservation, where he grew up watching with fascination as his silversmith Uncle crafted raw metal and stone into beautiful jewelry. By the time he was twenty-two he was ready to launch himself full time into silversmithing.
Today, nearly forty years later, Paul is a nationally known and collected jewelry artist. He is particularly known for a style of jewelry most silversmiths shy away from a technique known as cluster and row work where multiple tiny stones are used together to form a delicate, colorful designs in jewelry. He especially enjoys working unusual textures created on metals and will often incorporate a new surface finish or other design application to see if these changes might enhance the jewelry’s appearance and appeal. Though his forte has always been more traditional even vintage looking Navajo style jewelry, his contemporary designs are also in high demand.
Born & raised at the Santo Domingo Pueblo,where she continues to live..Mary couldn't escape the Pueblo's known "art of mosaic".Both her mother & father created mosaic pieces many years ago & were one's who did the old(And now very collectible) Thunderbird necklaces,where they used battery casings &LP's for their backings,which now has been replaced with black Jet.Mary is also the sister of my good friend & another collectible mosaic artist,"Jolene Bird".
She has taken this ancient art of mosaic,by taking a more contemporary 21st approach,while staying very traditional in technique & has taken her art, where no one else has,with her signature identity having a heavy "Folk Art" feel, that is colorful,happy & very whimsical.And just like any 'true' artist,No 2 are created alike..Mary creates only when her spirit,having a clear mind,her hands & all other creative juices are in sync..Once you see her art,you will never forget it,since she has her own style, that belongs to only her.
You can find her in Museums,galleries & overseas & also here with me!! ;-))
Navajo Darryl Becenti was born in '57 & was raised in the Native American Jewelry capitol town of Gallup,NM & is not only a highly skilled jeweler,but a Navajo Sand Painter as well.Influenced by his brother in laws,David & Leroy Reeves..Darryl is among a group of contemporary,but very traditional jewelers that all rank high,when it comes to jewelry being highly sought after & much in demand.
Al was born in Zuni in 1959 & learned the art of classic Navajo silversmithing from his parents & has grown to be one of the "finer" & collectible when it comes to traditional Navajo styles. Being a sandpainter, as well as a painter,helps to give him the 'eye' for creating these pieces that are super appealing to the eye & have perfect balance between metal & stone.
He is among a group of modern day silversmiths,that makes weighty & very traditional 'old school' Navajo jewelry & is known for his heavily stamped silver pieces,while always giving us the highest grade stones possible.