Saturday, December 30, 2017


There are many Santo Domingo tribal members making mosaic inlay and heishi jewelry these days, but here are three Kewa artists whose jewelry really stands out from the crowd. All three of these Santo Domingo jewelry makers have very distinct and unusual styles.

Christopher Thomas Nieto  is a young self-taught jeweler, whose work just keeps better and better! He has become famous for his intricate and innovative mosaic inlay and high quality heishi work. He inlays on round surfaces, he inlays the sides of his pieces, and he incorporates many different shapes into his jewelry!

Timothy Bailon is another Santo Domingo native whose style is very different from the traditional Kewa jewelry. His jewelry is in high demand. This photo shows some of the latest designs by Chris and Timothy.

Mary Tafoya is one of our favorite jewelry makers who creates unique contemporary works of art. Her colorful abstract jewelry has become a favorite of many Native American jewelry lovers. Her jewelry is colorful, somewhat "folksy", even whimsical, and her unique designs are extremely popular. She learned her jewelry making techniques from her parents. She has taken this ancient art of mosaic where no one else has, while staying very traditional in technique. She uses different types and colors of stones, unusual shapes of shell, cutting them at different angles to get the desired look. Feast your eyes on some of her original pieces!

Visit our website for our latest selection of jewelry by these ground breaking artists.

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Honoring Master Silversmith Orville Tsinnie

     It is with a heavy heart that I write this post to tell that one of my favorite artists, Orville Tsinnie, passed away recently. Orville passed away on May 23, 2017. Orville was a extraordinarily talented silversmith and a wonderful big-hearted man as well. The Navajo world has lost one of its greatest and most treasured artists. He will be dearly missed.

    Orville Tsinnie was a master Navajo silversmith who had been making jewelry since the 1970s and had won numerous awards, including a Lifetime Achievement award from the Indian Arts and Crafts Association (IACA), an honor that brought well-deserved recognition to this fine American Indian artist. Orville was a perfectionist, hand picking and polishing only the highest quality natural stones. He cut, polished and set the stones by hand. The level of craftsmanship in Orville's work is superior. His designs were flawlessly executed, his soldering technique very clean, and his finishing and polishing meticulous. This careful attention to detail set Orville's jewelry apart from many others, and revealed the pride he took in his work. A steady presence in the world of American Indian art for over forty years, Orville Tsinnie's work created some of the finest and unique Native American hand made jewelry on the market today.  His works are highly collectible.

     We had the opportunity to meet with and purchase jewelry from Orville many times over the years and it was always a pleasure to visit with him, his wife Darlene, and his children and grandchildren. We saw him often at various Native American Jewelry markets and also visited him at his studio in Shiprock, New Mexico. 

All the Orville Tsinnie jewelry that we sell on our website was purchased directly from the artist or from his family. We last placed an order from Orville a week before he passed away. His family contacted us several weeks after his death to tell us that he had finished our order before he died and that everything was complete except for some polishing. The photo below shows that jewelry.

Please visit our website  to add a piece of Orville Tsinnie's jewelry to your Native American jewelry collection.

You can also visit Orville's facebook page here

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