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.





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



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.


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.






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”.





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.

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.




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 all also expert silversmiths.




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.

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.


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.


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.”

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.


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.



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.










Betty Tom


Betty Tom, Navajo Silversmith

Bea Tom


Bea Tom, Navajo Silversmith


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!