Alex Sanchez

Alex Sanchez

Perry Null Trading:

Did you grow up in Tohatchi?

Alex Sanchez:

Mexican Springs. I went to school in Tohatchi.

Perry Null Trading:

What year did you graduate?

Alex Sanchez:

I graduated in 1988.

Perry Null Trading:

You were State Champion in wrestling, what weight did you wrestle at?

Alex Sanchez:

I won at 167. When I was a junior I took third in State.

Perry Null Trading:

Did you play any other sports?

Alex Sanchez:

Football. We had some good teams, the best was my junior year.

Perry Null Trading:

What teams were in your District?

Alex Sanchez:

We played against Crownpoint, Shiprock, Zuni, Wingate, Kirkland, Aztec, Bloomfield, and Tohatchi. We were a class 3 school.

Perry Null Trading:

What position(s) did you play, and were you as good at football as wrestling?

Alex Sanchez:

I was an offensive guard and linebacker. I was All-State at guard and the Gallup Independent gave me the Defensive Player of the Year for the area.

Perry Null Trading:

An all-state offensive guard at 167lbs?

Alex Sanchez:

I would get my weight up for football. I played at 220lbs. That would all come off during wrestling. Just thought I needed to be bigger for football

Perry Null Trading:

So, you graduate from Tohatchi. What did you do next?

Alex Sanchez:

I went to Ft. Lewis College in Durango. I went there to become a Physical Therapist.

Perry Null Trading:

Did you finish school?

Alex Sanchez:

I went for a year and just got in with that wrong crowd.

Perry Null Trading:

How long did that last, hanging with the wrong crowd?

Alex Sanchez:

About 6 years (laughs).

Perry Null Trading:

So, you started making jewelry in the mid 1990s?

Alex Sanchez:

After my year at Fort Lewis I came back home and my brother taught me how to make jewelry. I was working with copper and brass.

Perry Null Trading:

Did you go out on your own after he taught you?

Alex Sanchez:

No, I went to work for Stewart Yellowhorse, Yellowhorse LTD. This was in the mid 1990s. I worked for him as an hourly worker in his shop, doing stamp work on belts and buttons. Still was not doing any soldering or buffing. Around 1998 I decided to go out on my own.

Perry Null Trading:

Did you regret not finishing school and doing jewelry full-time?

Alex Sanchez:

No, I love making jewelry.

Perry Null Trading:

What kind of stuff are you making?

Alex Sanchez:

Simple stuff, stamped bracelets and earrings.

Perry Null Trading:

Are you making any money doing jewelry?

Alex Sanchez:

In 1999 I did a show, Fountain Hills Market, in Arizona and made a profit of $1800. I was like, wow. After that my mom would find shows and send in applications for me.

Perry Null Trading:

So you got the bug for shows after doing so well at the first one, how many shows are you doing in a year at this time?

Alex Sanchez:

Probably around 15 a year. Now I do around 6 shows a year because I have more collectors and galleries contacting me. .

Perry Null Trading:

When did you start doing this Petroglyph style silver art?

Alex Sanchez:

About 8 years ago.

Perry Null Trading:

Was it just something you came up with?

Alex Sanchez:

I had the idea, but it took me a long time to perfect. The symbols kept sinking into the texture. It was lots of trial and error.

Perry Null Trading:

So, you made your first piece. What was the response?

Alex Sanchez:

It was a pendant. I forget who I sold it to, but the response was good. Just seemed like I would get more and more request for those style pieces. It is now my main style.

Perry Null Trading:

I remember you had a silver purse for the 2010 Santa Fe Indian Market, did that win a ribbon?

Alex Sanchez:

I didn’t get there in time.

Perry Null Trading:

Do you try to enter your pieces for judging?

Alex Sanchez:

Yes. The first time I made something for competition was 2005, the Inter-Tribal Ceremonial. I won first place for a pair of earrings, I call them Grandmother. Also, in 2008 I won Best of Class at the Navajo Nation Fair for a belt that had the petroglyph symbols.

Perry Null Trading:

How about the Heard or Indian Market?

Alex Sanchez:

I am to afraid to enter those shows. Those are big names that enter Market & Heard. Even in my booth I am always in awe of the artists that I am next to.

Perry Null Trading:

What is next for you?

Alex Sanchez:

Just keep making jewelry.

Perry Null Trading:

How about the price of materials, is that going to come back down?

Alex Sanchez:

I don’t think so, those prices are going to be the new norm.

Perry Null Trading:

Thanks.

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