Artists

Relationships fostered for over 35 years with Native American pueblos and artisans allow us to provide you with an unrivaled selection of handmade Native American jewelry.

Many of our artists are recognized and loved throughout the Southwest, and Sunwest Silver also promotes talented new artists.





Albert Platero


Albert is a Diné silversmith from New Mexico. Hallmark: AP

Allison


Allison Snowhawk Lee was born in the spring of 1958 to the Bitahnii and Tsinajinii Clans in Mexican Springs, N.M. Today, Allison works in the traditional Navajo designs he learned from his Mother and Uncle as a young teen. Allison has won the George W. West award 3 years running at the Santa Fe Indian Market, and also won Best in Division in 1992. Allison lives and works in Albuquerque, N.M.

Andy Cadman


Born to a family of silversmiths in Gallup, New Mexico in 1966, Andy Cadman has made his own mark on the world of handmade Native American jewelry. Sterling silver belts, cuffs and necklaces are some of Andy's favorite items to make. Andy works full-time as a silversmith while raising his 3 children here in New Mexico.



Arnold Blackgoat


Arnold Blackgoat lives on the Navajo reservation. He started to silversmith at the age of eight, by helping his grandmother, Helen Blackgoat, his mother Jenny Blackgoat, and his well-known uncle, Carson Blackgoat. Arnold is known for his thick-gauged silver, and his free hand deep stamping technique, which make his jewelry one of a kind.




Betty Tom


Specializing in traditional Navajo cluster work, Navajo silversmith Betty Tom was born & raised in Thoreau, NM. Betty started silversmithing right after high school, learning by watching her father. Mother of three and Grandmother of four, Betty still lives in Thoreau, and continues to provide the Southwest with collectible turquoise and silver jewelry.

Bobby Johnson


Bobby Johnson is from Church Rock, New Mexico. He began silversmithing in the early 70’s, under the tutelage of his older brothers and sisters, who are also expert silversmiths.Bobby’s love for turquoise & silver led him to choose his life’s work, and he continues to delight lovers of Native American jewelry with both his unique designs & traditional techniques.

Brenda Jimenez


Navajo silversmith Brenda Jimenez is from the Bitter Water Clan, which is part of the Navajo Nation. She grew up with four brothers and four sisters in Smith Lake, New Mexico. Brenda began to work with silver when she was 11 yrs old, under the watchful eye of her mother, Lorraine Barbone.

Burt Fancisco


Fortunate to have silversmith parents to teach him their traditional Nava techniques when he was young Burt Francisco was able to produce and successfully sell his own silver and turquoise jewelry before his twentieth birthday. Now in his mid-fifties and a master artisan, Burt still enjoys each new silversmith project and challenge and feels truly blessed for the skills in his hands the joy of his heart that comes from his work.Burt’s studio and home are in the rural Village of Canoncito, NM where he spends much of his spare time “fixing all the stuff in the house that everyone else busts up”.It is also believed that Burt has not removed his baseball cap since 1983.

Calvin Desson


Calvin Desson was born in the early fall of the 1969 in Lupton, Arizona and spent his childhood there and in neighboring Sanders, Arizona. He now lives permanently in Lupton with his wife and children. A master of scenic and pictorial stone inlay jewelry, Calvin learned jewelry making techniques from nephew Allen Okee. By 1996, he was working with master inlay artist, Alvin Yellowhorse where he honed his technical skills for three years before venturing out on his own.Preferring pictorial work to geometric row work inlay. Calvin creates some of the most detailed scenic work imaginable. He enjoys the challenge of each new design, from images of the Four Corners landscapes and ceremonial figures of Native America to the haunting perfection of the stone faces of his inlay portraits.

Calvin Martinez


Calvin Martinez is a revival silversmith, creating classic, traditional styles of Navajo jewelry with his very personal designs which are heavily influenced by Native jewelry from over a century ago. He uses many of the old techniques, going so far as to shun commercially available sheet silver in favor of forged pieces where old or scrap silver is melted down into ingots, which is then hand rolled and hammered to the necessary thickness for each piece of jewelry. His efforts have won entry into the finest shows and galleries, as well as some of the most exclusive private collections worldwide. His many awards include First Place at the prestigious Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial in Gallup, NM.






Chris Charley


To say that Chris Charley likes to stay busy would be quite an understatement. When not at his bench producing a vast array of traditional and contemporary silver jewelry for his ever-growing market, this Navajo artist might be found at work on his sand painting or pottery skills. On the occasions when he does take a break from his many artistic pursuits, Chris can likely be found on the basketball court, working as passionately to create a decent jump shot as he does a beautiful ring or bracelet. Born in 1972 in Crown Point, New Mexico, Chris became fascinated with silversmithing while watching his uncle, Raymond King. At age eighteen, Chris began his own career as a silversmith, teaching himself the tools and techniques he observed his uncle use to craft his own award winning jewelry. A master of so many silver working and design styles now, Chris still considers the more basic, traditional Navajo method of stamp work to be his favorite and finest skill. The stamped silver pieces he produces are crisp, refined and expressive. It is with these traditional designs and techniques that Chris feels most connected to his tribe cultural history - the “old ways”.


Danny Clark


Danny Clark has been silversmithing for over forty years. He was born in Klagetoh, AZ, and is the youngest of eight brothers & three sisters. Living in Gallup, New Mexico, Danny creates unique styles that have become recognized and highly sought after in the Southwest.


Darrin Livingston


Darrin Livingston resides in Church Rock, New Mexico, where he has lived most of his life. He currently lives there with his family. Church Rock is where his father and grandfather are from also; this is where he learned his silversmith trade at the age of thirteen. He attended public high school, which he enjoyed, and after graduating he really got serious with the silversmith trade and earned a living from it.A hallmark of Darrin’s jewelry is how is how precisely each piece is constructed and finished. We call this how “clean” the workmanship is. The stones are evenly set into tight fine silver bezels. There are no sharp edges or other careless craftsmanship. His pieces are obviously the work of an artist who takes no shortcuts and whose care for quality of every piece that leaves his studio is professional and complete.From the simplest single stone pendant to the advance design and crafting of a mulit-stone dragonfly necklace, Darrin’s work reflect the best traditional of Navajo silver work and pride.



Donovan Cadman


Traditional artist Donovan Cadman was born in 1968 and raised in Gallup with his silversmithing family. He has been producing since 1993 and is a well-recognized name in the Southwest jewelry world.



Eddie Secetaro


Eddie Secetero, Diné



Ella Linkin


Ella Linkin was born in 1954 to the Salt People Clan and Water Edge Clan. Born in Gallup, NM, Ella now lives and works in Spencer Valley, NM. Ella began silversmithing when she was 15 years old, and she was trained in her craft by her father, Lee Wylie. Ella's work is carefully detailed with strong lines that give her work a distinctive style. Ella has been working with Sunwest Silver Co Inc for over 25 years, and we are proud offer Ella’s work.

Ella Peter


Ella Peters is a Master Navajo Silversmith. She has been silversmithing for over 45 years. Born in the Tsa-ya-toh area, Ella’s Father taught her to weave and work metal at a very young age, and she has been doing so ever since.



Emma Lincoln


Emma was born in Brigham City, Utah, and raised in Vanderwagon, New Mexico. She began her silversmith work when she fifteen years old. Emma had a large family of 5 children, and when her husband passed, her talent for silver smithing provided for her family.Today, Emma lives in Gallup, New Mexico continues to provide traditional Diné style jewelry with her own designs for collectors in the Southwest & around the world.


Erma Arivso


Erma was born in Canocito, New Mexico and learned to silversmith from her mother, Jolene Shorty. She's been making her own unique jewelry since 1989. Erma's hallmark is "EA".


Ernest Bilagody


Ernest Bilagody was born in Tuba City, Arizona to the Red House, Big Water Clan. His grandparents are from the Around the House Clan and the Bitter Water Clan. He’s been silversmithing for about 35 years, since the mid 1970’s. His mother started him out with buffing the earrings she made. Then from there she gave him other duties, such as soldering things for her. With this beginning, Ernest started making his own jewelry and has been ever since. He has worked out of his own home and worked for various traders. Along the way he has met many other silver and goldsmiths, and they have shared stories about the metals, turquoises and other materials they use.


Etta Endito


Etta Endito was born in the winter of 1961, to the Tanglewater & Bitterwater Clans. She learned her craft from her Mother, while growing up in Crownpoint NM. By the time she completed high school, Etta was already creating her own distinctive jewelry.




Geraldine James


Geraldine James is a Navajo silversmith living and working in New Mexico. Hallmark: GJ




Harold Joe


Harold Joe is a Diné silversmith from New Mexico. His work will be stamped H.Joe or HJ on smaller items.











Jimmy Lee


Jimmy Lee was born in Gallup, NM, the “capital of Navajo Land.” He spent most of his childhood years in Arizona, and now calls the reservation community of Yatahey, New Mexico his home.While in junior high school, he began to take classes in silversmithing, showing a natural affinity for this traditional art of his Navajo people. Now, at the age of 38, Jimmy has spent half his life as a professional jewelry designer.His finely crafted, dramatic designs, usually feature high grade turquoise- often decorated with sprays of silver leaves, wirework, and raindrop clusters.He is also sought out for his unusual and jewelry featuring bear claws, set like stones in his most unique pieces.



Johnathan Nez


Johnathan Nez is originally from Teesto, Arizona on the Navajo Reservation, he currently resides in Tohajillee, New Mexico, which is part of the reservation. Johnathan’s style is considered to be contemporary Navajo.He apprenticed with Paul Platero and Thomas Guerro, and he also sought advice and learned some techniques from his late grandfather Thomas Singer as well. These three artists have been his mentors since he started silversmithing in 1989.Since then he has gone on to refine his work and has participated in many art shows, such as Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum, Haskell Juried art show and has been invited to many private art shows across the US.



Kathleen Chavez


Kathleen Livingston Chavez was born in Church Rock, New Mexico. She was born on December 17, 1958. She currently resides in Church Rock, New Mexico with her husband Lorenzo Juan and works out of Gallup, New Mexico.She started to silversmith in 1974, making earrings, rings and bracelets. In 1994 she started to make unique designs that are higher end jewelry pieces, which she enjoys saying, “It is more fun to make because of the amount of thought and imagination you have to put in it.”

Kathleen Livingston Chavez


Kathleen Livingston Chavez was born in Church Rock, New Mexico, December 17, 1958. Today, Kathleen lives in Church Rock with her husband Lorenzo Juan, and works out of Gallup, New Mexico. She started to silversmith in 1974, making earrings, rings, and ‘slave bracelets’. In 1994, she began to challenge herself to create higher-end jewelry, which she says is “much more fun to make, because of the amount of thought and imagination that goes into it.”

Kevin Willie


Kevin Willie was born in Shiprock, NM on May 25, 1992. As a Native American Navajo, Kevin learned his trade from his father. As a child, he admired how the stone & silver flowed together, and his father encouraged his interests. Kevin loves to work with his hands, and his other hobbies include working on automobiles & small electronics.

Larry Martinez Chavez


Larry Martinez Chavez was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Larry is Navajo, and was raised by his mother Reina Martinez.Larry’s mother taught him to silversmith while she was working at the “Covered Wagon” in Old Town, Albuquerque. Today, Larry lives in Gallup New Mexico with his wife and children. He is recognized for making top-quality, high-end jewelry.

Larry Spencer


Larry Spencer is a Navajo silversmith who began working silver with his wife in 1985, when he was in his 30’s. He was born in November of 1955, in Fort Defiance, Arizona. When Larry isn’t in his studio working, he loves to be out with his horses.





Leon Martinez


Leon Martinez is originally from Prewitt, New Mexico. He learned to silversmith at a young age. Well-known artists influenced him. His religion and prayers helped him advance making designs, which helped him perfect his craftsmanship. His goal is to make unique jewelry.


Lorenzo Juan


Lorenzo Juan began to silversmith in 1969 at 15 years old and hasn’t stopped since. Lorenzo has explored a wide variety of jewelry styles, starting out in his early years with braided silver styles, honing his torch techniques and beginning to execute the high-end jewelry including overlay work that he is recognized for today.One of Lorenzo’s favorite projects involved the petroglyphs from primitive rock art that his Native ancestors left from prehistoric times. Incorporating overlay styles to complete the work, he is satisfied with the extra time and care it took. He tells us, “In the end it is worth the time, because if done right, it looks amazing!”


Lydia Begay


Lydia Begay was born on the Navajo reservation town of Jeddito, in Arizona. Lydia is from the Red Water and Edge Water Clan, and she began silversmithing in her teenage years. Her father was a silversmith, and Lydia would watch him working as a child. Later she attended some classes on the reservation as well. Lydia loves what she does, and she respects her path in life.


Marita Benally


Marita Benally was born and raised in Steamboat, AZ, and she is from the Navajo tribe.

Marita started silversmithing in the late 90’s, and she credits her husband, Daniel Benally for teaching her to design and work silver.

She loves to create detailed, articulate designs. Today, Marita works out of Gallup, New Mexico.



Marvin McReeves


Born to the Edgewater Clan and the Mexican people in Gallup, NM, 1959, Marvin McReeves learned to silversmith at his Grandfather’s bench as a young teen.Honored by the Americans for Fine Arts organization, Marvin is best known for his double stack saw and traditional Navajo cluster work.

Michael & Rosita Calladitto


Michael Calladitto is best known for traditional Navajo style jewelry using Sterling Silver & turquoise with deeply stamped designs. He loves working with turquoise and says that the stone make him more creative and skillful at the bench. Michael makes most of the decorative stamps he uses to make his jewelry by hand from the tempered steel of old car engines. Using old parts from piston rods to valve stems, he carefully cuts designs into the steel using tiny files and other tools to produce his personal stamps.Brought up on the reservation in the village of Pruitt, New Mexico and born to the Meadow People Clan, Michael is also part Apache. Raised primarily by his Grandparents, Michael draws inspiration from the same remote and wild places his Grandmother, a well-respected natural healer, took him to when he was young.



Pansy Johnson


At the young age of 12, Pansy began making traditional Diné jewelry, training at the knee of her talented parents. Pansy is recognized for her traditional cluster work.


Paul Livingston


Paul Livingston was born March 3, 1954 in Gallup, New Mexico. He has lived in the Navajo Church Rock Reservation his whole life and currently resides there. He grew up watching his Uncle silversmith and with some trial and error became very good at it. He started the art of silversmithing at 22yrs old, which gives him 34 years of experience. He is a highly respected artist and his work has been shown throughout the United States. He is known for his perfectly aligned cluster work and his snake eye row bracelets. Paul is also a very fine contemporary saw artist.


Philander Begay


A young artist taking the Southwestern art world by storm, Philander Begay’s work is immediately recognizable. This award-winning artisan creates masterful tufa cast jewelry, combining ancient traditional sand-casting techniques with his startling vision and skill.



Randall Dalgai began producing his own work in 1982. Specializing in barrettes and combs, Dalgai also fashions rings, buckles, bolos and other handmade jewelry in the traditional styles passed down to him from his silversmith parents. Born April 28, 1970 in Fort Defiance, AZ, Delagai is of the Navajo Tribe and the Towering House (Ki’ ya’ anni) and Black Streak (Tsin’ na’ jinii’) Clans.

Randall Endito


Randall Endito grew up in a family of silversmiths and learned his art from his parents. Born in Gallup, January 1, 1980, to the Tangle Water into Bitterwater Clan, Randall continues to live and work in New Mexico. His clean lines and detailed stamp and scrollwork give him a unique style that is delighted patrons in the Southwest.

Raymond Beard


Raymond Beard is Navajo, and started working silver in 1978. He works in several traditional styles, including Zuni needlepoint cluster and inlay, Black Hills styles and the traditional Navajo silver styles he learned from his family.

When we asked Raymond if he has a favorite piece, he said he is most proud of a large concho belt he made with a crow dancer in the middle, and clusters of stone surrounding it.

Today, Raymond works out of Gallup, N.M., and Sunwest Silver is pleased to feature specialty items by Raymond.

Authentic Native American Handmade Jewelry



Raymond Bennet


Raymond Bennet is Navajo, and has been a silversmith since 1994. He lives where he was born and raised, in Gallup, New Mexico. He learned his craft from his family members, including both his parents and his uncles.








Robert Johnson


Robert Johnson was born in Gallup, NM, raised in Pindale NM and graduated from Gallup High School in 1986. Robert’s career as a silversmith started when he was 14 or 15 years old, as a buffer for his parent's handmade sterling silver beads.Through an acquaintance Robert met the late Kirk Smith during the summer of 1986. Kirk mentored Robert on his style of creating jewelry; traditional Navajo stamping with an antique finish, high polish bracelets, earrings, concho belts, rings, squash blossoms, hair tie's and so forth. Robert remembers this as an exciting time in his life.Robert moved on to design his own styles of Navajo Jewelry which are well recognized and highly sought after in the Southwest.


Ronnie Willie


Ronnie Willie is a well-rounded artist. He works as a full-time silversmith, creating contemporary and traditional designs from his bench in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is well known for his unique silver crosses. Ronnie also works with wood carving, stone sculpture, kachina making and sand-painting. Ronnie learned to silversmith from his brother, and continues to pass the tradition down with his own family.


Stanley Lee


Stanley Lee is a Diné silversmith living and working in New Mexico. His hallmark is a simple "S".

Sunwest Silver Co.


Sunwest Silver Co's Sterling Silver liquid silver & beaded product lines are designed in-house, hand-strung, and made right here in Albuquerque, New Mexico.We offer multiple product lines in Sterling Silver liquid silver, multi-color stone beads and OxyBeads, oxidized Sterling Silver beads pictured here.For inquiries regarding customized lines for your brand or storefront, or to learn more about pre-stocked & custom counter-top/tower rack programs for liquid silver and charm jewelry, contact Pam at Sunwest Silver Co. 1-800-771-3781 or Pam@SunwestSilver.com.



Tawney Willie-Cruz held out till she was nearly thirty before learning how to turn silver and stone into the beautiful jewelry her family is so well known for crafting. She began lessons with her father, renowned silversmith Lonnie Willie. Learning along with her were her husband, Allen Cruz, and her younger brother Cooper.Tawney feels blessed to have parents who have provided her with two quite different native backgrounds to grow up with and enjoy. Her father is of Navajo roots while her mother is from South Dakota and of Sioux ancestry.Tawney is happy to share both native cultures and now draws from both in her jewelry designs with she describes as traditional with a bit of contemporary twist. The jewelry making techniques she enjoys most are the three S’s – saw work, stamp work and shaping.Eight to twelve hours days at the work bench are common and welcome her these days. When possible she relaxes with her favorite activities-shopping, hiking cooking and more shopping!


Tawney Willie-Cruz held out till she was nearly thirty before learning how to turn silver and stone into the beautiful jewelry her family is so well known for crafting. She began lessons with her father, renowned silversmith Lonnie Willie. Learning along with her were her husband, Allen Cruz, and her younger brother Cooper.Tawney feels blessed to have parents who have provided her with two quite different native backgrounds to grow up with and enjoy. Her father is of Navajo roots while her mother is from South Dakota and of Sioux ancestry.Tawney is happy to share both native cultures and now draws from both in her jewelry designs with she describes as traditional with a bit of contemporary twist. The jewelry making techniques she enjoys most are the three S’s – saw work, stamp work and shaping.Eight to twelve hours days at the work bench are common and welcome her these days. When possible she relaxes with her favorite activities-shopping, hiking cooking and more shopping!



Vangie Touchine


Vangie Touchine is a Navajo jewelry artist. She grew up working with her parents, Ben & Angeline Touchine. Vangie continues to work with her Mother, and continues to create jewelry with her own distinctive styles. Vangie is quickly making a name of her own in the Santa Fe!

Vincent Platero


“VJP” is the signature stamp that you will find on the handmade jewelry of Vincent Joe Platero, Sr. Currently a resident of Tohajiilee, New Mexico, Vincent grew up as part of the Navajo Edgewater and Black Streak Clans and learned his craft from his mother, Helen Chavez. Vincent was born in 1957, has his own family now, and a distinctive style that is recognized and respected in collector’s circles.Featured in galleries around the country, Vincent has also won awards at the New Mexico State Fair and the Denver Indian Market.His silverwork has been noted since the 1970’s, and he designs and creates a full range of jewelry. His sampler concho belts, many with traditional rug patterns, his dragonfly & butterfly pins, and of course his deep, strong stamp work are often what we associate most with Vincent’s striking and unique style.


Wylie Secatero


Wylie Secatero is a young up-and-coming artisan whose work is in in high demand in the Southwest. His silverwork reflects his love for the traditional patterns found in Navajo weaving, and he incorporates this intricate designs with his unique style. Wylie began making jewelry at 10 years old, taught by his father who is an accomplished silversmith himself.