Aaron Anderson

Aaron Anderson and a bracelet tufa negative Aaron Anderson and a bracelet tufa negative
Introduction

Navajo artist Aaron Anderson is lots of things, but if you had to use one word to describe him I would say “real” works perfectly. This is one guy that doesn’t shy from telling you exactly what he thinks. Also he has an innate way of explaining his design as if he was a teacher to a student knowing every detail of his work. Aaron is not afraid to have his work sit next to the “big names” of tufa art, in fact he welcomes to have his unique designs, innovation, and creativity judged with the best.

Perry Null Trading

We have talked in the past about the Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial. You seem to really care about this annual event?

Aaron Anderson

It is the place where my work was really first noticed. In 2003 I won a blue-ribbon for “Best in Metal Smithing”. This was my first show.

Perry Null Trading

Do you do other shows?

Aaron Anderson

The last couple of years the Navajo Nation Fair has been putting up big prize money, and that has brought lots of well-known Navajo artists to the event. I have been doing the Navajo Nation show the last couple of years, it is easy being so close to home and it is my Nation.

Perry Null Trading

How about the big shows?

Aaron Anderson

I don’t do Santa Fe or Phoenix. I would like to see the Inter-Tribal regain some past glory and be the show all the top artists go to.

Perry Null Trading

What changes does the Gallup Inter-Tribal need to make to bring back the top artists?

Aaron Anderson

The Navajo Nation offers big prize money and that is why they are getting top artists. That would be a great place to start, more money for the winners at Inter-Tribal. Also, many artists in the past would have a booth on the Ceremonial grounds, and now those booths are t-shirts and other tourists items, they need to go back to the artists. It used to be the main show, all the greats brought their work to be judged. It was a big deal to be the “Best of Show”. I am trying to talk some artists I know to come back.

Bracelet design initial sketch Bracelet design initial sketch
Finished bracelet with tufa negative in background Finished bracelet with tufa negative in background
Perry Null Trading

You won a blue-ribbon in 2003. When did you start making jewelry?

Aaron Anderson

I started helping my uncles’ Wilford Henry (WHB) and Wilson Begay in 1991.

Perry Null Trading

Did you know you would always make jewelry?

Aaron Anderson

It has always been around me, my parents made jewelry, lots of my relatives make jewelry, it just seemed an easy transition. However, my father told me to go to college when I asked him about making silver.

Perry Null Trading

Did you go to school?

Aaron Anderson

Yeah, I studied civil engineering and use some of those skills in my approach to jewelry making.

Perry Null Trading

Back to 1991, how long before you went out on your own?

Aaron Anderson

I had spent some time going to shows with my cousins, Ira & Gary Custer, and would see these artist talk about tufa jewelry. Most of the stuff I would see was just sandcast, and immediately I knew I wanted to learn to do tufa. You can’t change design with sandcasting and I had so many different ideas of what I wanted to make. In 1997 I went out on my own and started doing some different things.

Perry Null Trading

How did you go from sandcast to tufa cast?

Aaron Anderson

I talked with my dad and he gave me the basic knowledge. He also showed me a tufa stone, and how to tell the difference between stones.

Perry Null Trading

What would be differences?

Aaron Anderson

I like to use a medium-hard stone, it seems to hold the design better for me. You have really soft stones that give the work that grainy look. Hard stones will let you give the work lots of detail, I usually wet this type of stone, this makes it easier to carve.

Perry Null Trading

How does it work, from the start to finish of a piece of your jewelry.

Aaron Anderson

Begins with an addiction to design. I will get up in the morning and start to draw a concept on paper. That will lead to a sketch that I place on a tufa stone.

Perry Null Trading

How do we go from a rough sketch to a piece of your silver that has very precise lines?

Aaron Anderson

I will use straight edges and squares, plus I modify lots of my knifes so I can get different depths and angles. Other artists always ask me about my modifications, which are very different compared to the basic tools. That is how I get the crisp detail of my work.

Perry Null Trading

When you work with stones does that change your original idea?

Aaron Anderson

Many times I will set that stone down on the paper and then draw my design as an outline. It is the change that keeps me motivated.

Perry Null Trading

Thank you Aaron, we look forward to seeing you at the Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial?

Art from this Artist

Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Apache Blue Turquoise, 14k, Silver, Navajo Made, 6.25
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Apache Blue Turquoise, 14k, Silver, Navajo Made, 6.25
Regular price
$1,280.00
Sale price
$1,280.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Bisbee Turquoise, Tufa, Silver, Navajo Handmade, 5.75
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Bisbee Turquoise, Tufa, Silver, Navajo Handmade, 5.75
Regular price
$650.00
Sale price
$650.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Eagle, Naja Charm, Silver, Navajo Handmade, 6.4
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Eagle, Naja Charm, Silver, Navajo Handmade, 6.4
Regular price
$760.00
Sale price
$760.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Lighting, Water Lines, Silver, Navajo Handmade, 6.75
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Lighting, Water Lines, Silver, Navajo Handmade, 6.75
Regular price
$555.00
Sale price
$555.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Mediterranean Coral, Tufa, Star, Navajo Handmade, 6.25
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Mediterranean Coral, Tufa, Star, Navajo Handmade, 6.25
Regular price
$650.00
Sale price
$650.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Morenci Turquoise, Silver, 14k Gold, Navajo Made, 6.5
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Morenci Turquoise, Silver, 14k Gold, Navajo Made, 6.5
Regular price
$1,820.00
Sale price
$1,820.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Persian Turquoise, Silver, Navajo Handmade, 7
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Persian Turquoise, Silver, Navajo Handmade, 7
Regular price
$920.00
Sale price
$920.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Royal Web Turquoise, Traditional, Navajo Handmade, 6.5
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Royal Web Turquoise, Traditional, Navajo Handmade, 6.5
Regular price
$335.00
Sale price
$335.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Solid 14k Gold, Star Design, Navajo Handmade, 6.25
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Solid 14k Gold, Star Design, Navajo Handmade, 6.25
Regular price
$5,960.00
Sale price
$5,960.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Spider Web Turquoise, Traditional, Navajo Made 6.5
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Spider Web Turquoise, Traditional, Navajo Made 6.5
Regular price
$920.00
Sale price
$920.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Star Design, Sterling Silver, Navajo Handmade, 6.25 in
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Star Design, Sterling Silver, Navajo Handmade, 6.25 in
Regular price
$650.00
Sale price
$650.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Tufa Carved Design, Lapis Lazuli, Navajo Handmade, 6.25
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Tufa Carved Design, Lapis Lazuli, Navajo Handmade, 6.25
Regular price
$760.00
Sale price
$760.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Tufa Cast, Spider Web Turquoise, Navajo Made, 6.25 in
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Tufa Cast, Spider Web Turquoise, Navajo Made, 6.25 in
Regular price
$760.00
Sale price
$760.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Tufa Cast, Turtle, Multi Stone, Navajo Handmade, 6.5
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Tufa Cast, Turtle, Multi Stone, Navajo Handmade, 6.5
Regular price
$760.00
Sale price
$760.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Tufa, Naja, Arrow Design, Silver, Navajo Handmade, 6.75
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Tufa, Naja, Arrow Design, Silver, Navajo Handmade, 6.75
Regular price
$650.00
Sale price
$650.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Tufa, Turquoise Heishe, Arrow, Navajo Handmade, 6.5
Aaron Anderson, Bracelet, Tufa, Turquoise Heishe, Arrow, Navajo Handmade, 6.5
Regular price
$760.00
Sale price
$760.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Buckle, Classic Design, Sterling Silver, Navajo Handmade, 2.5
Aaron Anderson, Buckle, Classic Design, Sterling Silver, Navajo Handmade, 2.5"
Regular price
$445.00
Sale price
$445.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Cast Cuff, 14k, Sterling Silver, Lone Mountain Turquoise,6 1/4''
Aaron Anderson, Cast Cuff, 14k, Sterling Silver, Lone Mountain Turquoise,6 1/4''
Regular price
$2,200.00
Sale price
$2,200.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Cast Silver, Persian Turquoise
Aaron Anderson, Cast Silver, Persian Turquoise "Three in One" Bracelet
Regular price
$925.00
Sale price
$925.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Morenci Turquoise, Tufa Cast Sterling Shell Cuff, Navajo
Aaron Anderson, Morenci Turquoise, Tufa Cast Sterling Shell Cuff, Navajo
Regular price
$650.00
Sale price
$650.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Number Eight Turquoise, Tufa Cast Belt, 20 Pieces
Aaron Anderson, Number Eight Turquoise, Tufa Cast Belt, 20 Pieces
Regular price
$6,370.00
Sale price
$6,370.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Kingman Turquoise, Four Directions, Navajo Made, 1.5
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Kingman Turquoise, Four Directions, Navajo Made, 1.5
Regular price
$210.00
Sale price
$210.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Naja, Black Web Kingman Turquoise, Navajo Handmade, 2.1
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Naja, Black Web Kingman Turquoise, Navajo Handmade, 2.1
Regular price
$240.00
Sale price
$240.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Naja, Black Web Kingman Turquoise, Navajo Handmade, 2.75
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Naja, Black Web Kingman Turquoise, Navajo Handmade, 2.75
Regular price
$380.00
Sale price
$380.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Tufa Cast, Star, Sterling Silver, Navajo Handmade, 2.1
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Tufa Cast, Star, Sterling Silver, Navajo Handmade, 2.1
Regular price
$290.00
Sale price
$290.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Tufa Cast, Turquoise, Dragonfly, Navajo Handmade, 2.5
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Tufa Cast, Turquoise, Dragonfly, Navajo Handmade, 2.5
Regular price
$235.00
Sale price
$235.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Tufa, Roadrunner, Sterling Silver, Navajo Handmade, 1
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Tufa, Roadrunner, Sterling Silver, Navajo Handmade, 1
Regular price
$185.00
Sale price
$185.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Tufa, Scorpion, Sterling Silver, Navajo Handmade, 2
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Tufa, Scorpion, Sterling Silver, Navajo Handmade, 2
Regular price
$185.00
Sale price
$185.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Turquoise, Pueblo Dragonfly, Navajo Handmade, 2.5
Aaron Anderson, Pendant, Turquoise, Pueblo Dragonfly, Navajo Handmade, 2.5
Regular price
$240.00
Sale price
$240.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Pin, Tufa Cast Butterfly, Broken Arrow Variscite, Navajo
Aaron Anderson, Pin, Tufa Cast Butterfly, Broken Arrow Variscite, Navajo
Regular price
$445.00
Sale price
$445.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Ring, Heavy, Tufa Cast, Bisbee Turquoise, Navajo Handmade,
Aaron Anderson, Ring, Heavy, Tufa Cast, Bisbee Turquoise, Navajo Handmade,
Regular price
$600.00
Sale price
$600.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Ring, Narrow Band, Tufa, Sterling Silver, Navajo Handmade, 9.5
Aaron Anderson, Ring, Narrow Band, Tufa, Sterling Silver, Navajo Handmade, 9.5
Regular price
$210.00
Sale price
$210.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Ring, Wide Band, Tufa, Sterling Silver, Navajo Handmade, 12
Aaron Anderson, Ring, Wide Band, Tufa, Sterling Silver, Navajo Handmade, 12
Regular price
$290.00
Sale price
$290.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Bracelet, Lightning, Sterling Silver, Navajo Made, 6.5 in
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Bracelet, Lightning, Sterling Silver, Navajo Made, 6.5 in
Regular price
$650.00
Sale price
$650.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Cast Bracelet, Butterfly Design, Silver, Navajo
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Cast Bracelet, Butterfly Design, Silver, Navajo
Regular price
$1,470.00
Sale price
$1,470.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Cast Bracelet, Contemporary Fold Over, Inlay
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Cast Bracelet, Contemporary Fold Over, Inlay
Regular price
$1,105.00
Sale price
$1,105.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Cast Bracelet, Kingman Turquoise, Navajo, Signed
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Cast Bracelet, Kingman Turquoise, Navajo, Signed
Regular price
$650.00
Sale price
$650.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Cast Bracelet, Multi-Stone Inlay, Navajo Made
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Cast Bracelet, Multi-Stone Inlay, Navajo Made
Regular price
$760.00
Sale price
$760.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Cast Bracelet, Pilot Mountain Turquoise, Navajo Made, 6.5
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Cast Bracelet, Pilot Mountain Turquoise, Navajo Made, 6.5
Regular price
$780.00
Sale price
$780.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Cast Bracelet, Royal Blue Royston Turquoise, Navajo
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Cast Bracelet, Royal Blue Royston Turquoise, Navajo
Regular price
$745.00
Sale price
$745.00
Unit price
per 
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Cast Bracelet, Wire Design, Hands, Navajo Handmade, 6.5
Aaron Anderson, Tufa Cast Bracelet, Wire Design, Hands, Navajo Handmade, 6.5
Regular price
$445.00
Sale price
$445.00
Unit price
per 

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