The Native American people are very talented artists and silversmiths; they make a form of art that is like nowhere else in the world. Making jewelry is their livelihood. When you buy jewelry from our company you are buying direct, no middle-man – from the artist's hands to yours.
The artistry of the Native American silversmiths shows through in the beauty and high level of craftsmanship of our handmade sterling jewelry from New Mexico. It was in the 1800’s that the Spanish settlers in America first taught the Native Americans the art of silversmithing. In combination with the sterling the turquoise stone has been favored by the Native Americans to utilize in their jewelry. Evidence dating back to prehistoric times shows that ancient Native Americans were mining for Turquoise. This love of turquoise and commitment to a high level of silversmithing continues to this day. We work directly with the artists to bring you the best in handmade Native American silver jewelry. The most impressive examples of Native American hand made silver jewelry are made by the Zuni, Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo peoples. The Zuni are best known for their fine channel inlay as well as their needle point or tiny stone clusters. The Hopi rely on a silver on silver technique called “overlay.” It is the Navajos who are thought to have been the first group to begin actually silver-smithing. In addition the Pueblo Indians can be fine silversmiths as well.
Emerson Delgarito is a Navajo silversmith that is from the Red Running into the Water clan from his mother's side and from the Sage Brush clan from his father's side.Emerson was born in the 1950's in Haystack New Mexico. Emerson and his brothers are well known artists. He is 62 years old and learned the art of silversmithing when he was 20 years old. He started working at a jewelry shop in Smith Lake on the Navajo Reservation where he watched the other silversmiths making jewelry. By observing these silversmiths, Emerson taught himself the art. Emerson obtained his tools by going to flea markets and pawn shops. He says he has never bought a new tool and prefers to use old tools. Emerson enjoys giving advice to other silversmiths and sharing what he had learned. His work is very unique, traditional, and clean.He is known for his stamp work and how perfect each piece is. His work is what one could see at a gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Emerson makes jewelry as his only source of income. Other than silversmithing, Emerson enjoys hiking and a good game of bingo.
MIKE SMITH AND LORETTA SMITH
Mike and Loretta Smith have worked with our company for many years. They have been making jewelry for over 40 years. Loretta started out silversmithing with her dad when she was a teenager. Her dad was famous Navajo silversmith Wilbert Smith. Mike learned the art from his wife Loretta. Both Mike and Loretta are very talented silver smiths. When Mike and Loretta are not working on jewelry they take care of their children.
Sheena Jack (Navajo) is a Navajo woman from Prewitt NM. Sheena has been silversmithing for over 20 years and is an expert silversmith. Her mother and grandmother taught her. She is happy that she learned from women in her family because she values the time she spent with them. Her grandmother would tell her stories while making the jewelry. Sheena enjoys making jewelry and working with turquoise since it is a traditional stone to use.Sheena loves turquoise and believes turquoise is a sacred stone to the Navajo peoples. Sheena is proud of her work but she is also very humble. Sheena enjoys spending time with her family and loves cats.
Navajo artist Sheena Jack has been silversmithing since she her early 20's. She is an expert at her craft. Sheena lives close to Prewitt NM. Sheena is a true artist who enjoys working with sterling silver. Sheena loves turquoise and believes turquoise is a sacred stone to the Navajo peoples. Sheena is proud of her work but she is also very humble. Sheena enjoys spending time with her family and loves cats.
Greg Yazzie comes from a long line of silver smiths. Greg has been working around jewelry his whole life. Greg started out with our company polishing jewelry and moved up to a silversmith. Greg has a true understanding of jewelry and every aspect that goes into handmade pieces. Greg is known for his stamp work and how precise he is at making each piece. You can see from the pieces of above Greg is a true artist. Greg enjoys spending time with his wife and kids.
Jimson Belin’s uncle taught him how to silver smith, Jimson was a buffer at first then transitioned into a silversmith from his uncle and aunt, who were one of Running Bears first Silversmiths. Jimson has been silversmithing for over 5 years. Jimson is a very talented artist.
Bucky Belin (Navajo) is the son of the very first silversmiths that work with Running bear. Bucky's father taught him everything he knows about silversmithing. When Bucky silversmiths he always thinks of his father and tries to think of ways to represent his father in his work.
Loretta Delgarito (NAVAJO) has been silversmithing ever since the age of 14, she was taught by her family and has become a great artist. She likes to work with turquoise because of the different shades of blue.
Irvin Tsosie (NAVAJO) is 53 years old and lives on the Navajo reservation in Haystack, New Mexico. Irvin grew up around silversmiths and jewelry making. His parents and grandparents were silversmiths. Irvin has worked with jewelry for the past 15 years but has never perused silversmithing until this year. He has been buffing jewelry until now. Irvin was able to pick up the skills quickly because he was taught be Mike Smith and Emerson Delgarito. In the past 6 months Irvin has acquired the skills necessary to be a great silversmith
Raymond is a self taught artist and is one of the best artists we work with. His brother is Emerson Delgarito. Both brothers are best known for their stamp work. They are talented stamp makers too.
Tom Lewis is an experts craftsman, who specializes in stamp work and detailed designs. Tom has been silver smithing for over 25 years. He lives outside of Gallup NM.
Isabelle has worked at Running Bear Trading (our parent company) for over 30 years. She does beautiful bead work at the trading post and at home. She is best known for stringing squash blossoms.