1996 to Present
Big silver, detailed inlay
FIRST YEAR MAKING ART:
Ford or Dodge?..
hmmm.... Well if I had to choose i'd say Dodge with Ford coming at a close second, as long as it's not a Chevy!
Navajo Taco or Stuffed Sopapilla?
I have a weakness for Navajo Tacos.
Coral or Turquoise?
Coral or Turquoise? I have to say Turquoise. When I first started making jewelry I used a lot of coral but over time I grew more and more familiar with different types of Turquoise. If I can find Coral, I'll use it. But I prefer Turquoise.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in several different places Sawmill Az, Lukachukia Az, Phoenix Az, Georgetown, Tx, Payson Ut. Ganado, Az . I like to move around, I guess I get bored pretty easily.
Were you interested in art from an early age?
Art has always been apart of my life. My parents use to make jewelry back in the 70's during the native jewelry boom. I remember several different artists stop and visit my parents shop. Some stayed and worked out of my parent's shop. So I was around it at a very young age. I just never really took to it in till I graduated High School as a way to pay for my school.
I know that you are into rodeo, what events do you participate in?
Rodeo is a sport that has always interested me. I think the comradery of the people and just being around animals especially horses is therapeutic. Team roping is the event I've been competing in. Living in the city its hard to find time and places to practice. Team roping is a sport that takes lots of practice. So when time permits, I like to place a practice dummy out on the street and practice a little. It always draws attention from the neighbors.
Have you ever won one of those big rodeo trophy buckles?
Not yet.. no trophy buckles just yet...SOON!
So when did you start making jewelry full time?
I started making jewelry full time about ten years ago. I got tired of being told what to do by bosses and I never came to work on time. I had to do something and QUICK! I had to come up with something I liked doing something that pays well and that I can do on my own time. thus started my jewelry making career. The rest was history.
Did you have any influences or teachers?
I have many influences but few I really respect. One name that comes to mind is Vernon Haskie. I think without his input I wouldn't be where I am now. I owe a lot to him. I never took lessons from him but took all of the advises he gave me to heart. Raymond Yazzie also gave me inspiration when I started he always had a good word to share. Raymond and Connie have always been there for support and encouragement. Arland Ben is another artist who always has been a good role model and friend to me. Whenever I need help I turn to Arland. Those three artists I respect the most and who have been the most influential to me and my jewelry. Also I have to mention Lisa Waddell, she was there for me when I was about to throw in the towel and quit making jewelry. She is a big reason why I'm still in the game! Thanks Lisa!! I owe each a debt of gratitude. As far as teachers I really didn't have any. I kind of learned out of trail and error.
You mentioned that you are spending time with Jesse Monongye, is that changing the way you approach your art?
Last year during the 2013 Heard Museum Show I was hitting a wall in my art. I mentioned this to Jesse Monongye. He offered to take me under his wing of sorts and teach me. We just haven't found a time that was convenient for the both of us so its still on hold.
You are living in Phoenix, has that helped your career being close to all those high-end galleries?
Living here in Phoenix and being closer to the higher end galleries taught me a lesson that I had to step up my work to another level. It was a total change from what I was use to. Going from wholesale jewelry to one of a kind pieces was the biggest change.
What do you consider the best piece of art you have ever made?
oh man...hmmm there many I'm proud of. I d have to say it would be two necklaces I made for Waddell Trading, one was a Turquoise Mountain necklace and the other was a Coral necklace. Those were hard to let go of.
You had started a website project for your jewelry, is that something we can expect to see in the future?
My website has been put on hold till further notice. I never knew that maintaining site was so much work.
Where do you see your career going?
where do I see my career going?... well, to the top of course!
Thanks big guy.