Perry Null Trading:

Thanks for taking time to chat with us, Stanford and Diane Cooche. When did you start making jewelry?

Stanford Cooche:

I started at a young age. Originally I made shadowbox rings and did some fetish carving. It wasn’t until in the early 80's that I began the style I do today, channel inlay.

Perry Null Trading:

What made you start this style?

Stanford Cooche:

My father, Celestine Cooche was doing this work and it was during the jewelry boom of the 80's, and he couldn’t fill orders. I was in my early twenties.

Perry Null Trading:

The Knifewing piece that you brought in today, that is something very different than we have seen from you...

Stanford Cooche:

That was my father’s work. He left some unfinished pieces and I finally decided to complete them.

Perry Null Trading:

How long ago was this piece started?

Stanford Cooche:

It was probably started over 30 years ago. This is the third piece that I have finished.

Perry Null Trading:

Will you continue to do this traditional style?

Stanford Cooche:

My father was a Zuni Forest Fire Fighter and their mascot was the Knifewing, that is why my dad started doing this style. I will continue to do this work.

Perry Null Trading:

Diane do you come from a family of artists?

Diane Cooche:

Yes, my maternal grandmother, Rose Haloo was the first Zuni to do snake eye pieces. My uncle is Pete Haloo who still makes this style. My parents did silver and gold work. My father and Stanford’s father where both Zuni fire fighters and good friends.

Perry Null Trading:

Stanford did you ever fight forest fires?

Stanford Cooche:

No, when I was growing up more Zuni kids worked making jewelry than fighting fires because of the boom.

Perry Null Trading:

Did your dad or you ever hire extra people to fill orders?

Stanford Cooche:

No, we have always concentrated on quality. During the boom people were putting out anything and a lot of it was sloppy. We didn’t worry about the orders we lost. After the boom settled that really helped us because we kept all of our dealers.

Perry Null Trading:

Do you do jewelry full-time?

Stanford Cooche:

We do it as part-time. I work for the Zuni Tribe and Diane has a year left before she completes her nursing degree.

Perry Null Trading:

Where do you sell most of your work?

Stanford Cooche:

We have been fortunate enough to always have orders for our work and that allows us to trade with the same few dealers we have always sold to.

Perry Null Trading:

Do you travel for these dealers?

Stanford Cooche:

No, all of them are here except for one.

Perry Null Trading:

Where is this dealer?

Stanford Cooche:

We received a phone call from a J. Adams who was looking for my father and I was the only Cooche in the phonebook. He owned a buckle made by my dad and wanted to learn more about the piece.

Perry Null Trading:

Did he have a Native American art store?

Stanford Cooche:

No, he makes luxury travel buses for musicians. He would order pieces from us and give them away to his clients. Once he came through Gallup and we met up with him and he showed us one of the buses he was delivering to Clint Black in Las Vegas. That is when we knew he was for real. He showed us the inside cover of the “Put Yourself in My Shoes” album where Dick Gay the drummer was wearing an ivory ranger buckle that we had made.

Perry Null Trading:

Who else did he give your work too?

Stanford Cooche;

I know that ZZ Top has our work and other artists that he dealt with.

Perry Null Trading:

That is pretty exciting, thanks for taking the time to visit.



Available art from: Cooche, Sanford Cooche, Stanford, Diane