1980 to Present
Blackgoat, Carson, Blackgoat, Jenny
FIRST YEAR MAKING ART:
How are things going?
Pretty good, a store on the Plaza in Santa Fe has put my work in it’s own showcase.
That’s great, makes you feel good. It seems like you have lots of family members that makes silver, give me a quick family tree?
My great grandfather is Moses Blackgoat, he was the first in my family to make silver jewelry. He was from the Lupton area and started around the early 1900s. He passed on the trade to my grandparents, Ben & Helen Blackgoat. They taught my father Harrison, and my mother Jennie also picked up the trade. Now I am the fourth generation in my family to make silver.
How about Susie James, is she related to you?
Susie is my mother’s sister. My mom and dad taught her and other family how to make jewelry so they could have a living.
Are you related to Carson Blackgoat
Yes, he’s my uncle, my father’s brother, and Irene Lee is my aunt. Irene explained to me how to do shadow box work and I will sometimes make pieces in this style.
When did you make your first piece of jewelry?
I was with my grandma at the Shiprock Fair. I wanted some money for something at the fair. She tossed me a piece of nickel and told me to make something, that is how I could earn the money to buy what I wanted. I made a stamped buckle and bolo that I sold at the fair.
How old were you and what year was this?
I was around 10 years old, that would have been around 1980.
Did you continue making jewelry?
Yes, the next week at the Tuba City Fair and then through mid school and high school. My grandma taught me the value of making my own money and that is what I did.
How much would you make during your school years?
I don’t know. My parents wanted to buy a new truck and I was able to buy their old truck for $1000 cash during high school, that is when I knew I was making some money.
What kind of jewelry were you making?
I had a buyer that would pay me $400 for a concho belt, it was a big one. That would last me a month or so, and then I would make another. He always bought the belt. Also, silver was around $4 an ounce then, so it is not like now. Today that belt would be over $1000.
Your work, was it similar to your parents?
Yes, it was until about 8 years ago. That is when I started to change my style.
What did you do different?
My mother’s work as always has been my inspiration. She always used lots of stamp work and would make each piece a little different. That was my foundation and I just made small changes to the work. I would add extra beads, wire work, homemade bezel, and use better turquoise. Concentrating on making one of a kind pieces.
Who’s work do you admire?
I always enjoy looking at Calvin Martinez, Irene Lee, and Carson Blackgoat’s work.
What does your mom say about your jewelry?
My grandma always told me that I would be a nice artist, I remember that. When I show my mom, aunts, and uncles my work they always tell me how much better it is when they were my age.
Have you ever won any awards?
At the Shiprock and Tuba City Fairs.
We look forward to having more of your work here at the Trading Post, thank you.