Navajo silversmiths are renowned for their intricate, detailed stamp work, a style developed over many generations. Stamping is done by hand, and the stamps themselves are often times unique to the artist or are handed down from generations of silversmiths.
Found near Globe, Arizona, Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is easily one of the most recognizable North American turquoises. Due to its lack of matrix and brilliant, varying shades of blue Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is highly sought after. Sadly, the Sleeping Beauty mine closed in 2012 - causing both prices and demand to climb.
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.
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