Philander Begay

Perry Null Trading

How long have you been making jewelry?

Philander Begay

I started about four years ago.

Perry Null Trading

Have you always done cast work?

Philander Begay

That is all I work with.

Perry Null Trading

So have you become an expert on tufa stone?

Philander Begay

When I first started I use to go to the supply houses and buy the tufa that most everyone was using. I learned that it was of a very low grade. Eventually I was given some from Hopi that was high grade, and now I get it for myself at the source. I will sell it sometimes to other artist that make cast jewelry.

Perry Null Trading

What is your connection with Hopi?

Philander Begay

I grew up in Tuba City, which is very close to Hopi. My friend was Hopi and we spent alot of time at his home. That is where I get many ideas for my work. I show Pueblo scenes on many of my pieces, and also incorporate the many different Kachina Dances I saw there into my work.

Philander Begay Collection

Perry Null Trading

Your brother Darryl D. Begay has become very well known for his work, has he helped teach you?

Philander Begay

My brother has taught me, and also my uncle Bobby Begay has shown me things. Bobby was Darryl’s teacher, he worked in the traditional style. Bobby was taught by Timmy Begay who was a student of Kenneth Begay.

Perry Null Trading

Have you begun to do shows?

Philander Begay

I once snuck in some pieces to a show my brother was invited to. I had nine pieces and they all sold.

Perry Null Trading

Do you remember your first piece?

Philander Begay

Yes, it was a bracelet that I sold to Yazzie’s Indian Art Raymond & Colina Yazzie for $65.

Perry Null Trading

Do you make anymore of those $65 pieces ;-)?

Philander Begay

No.



Available art from: Begay, Philander