Campito is derived from the Spanish word "campo" meaning "field" or "countryside". Mined in Mexico from the Pino Chueco and Cananea mines in Sonora, Campitos is a favorite for jewelry artisans. Campitos is unique in several ways. It grows in clay as free-form nuggets, rather than in veins which is typical of many North American turquoises. Its color closely resembles that of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and ranges from a light to medium blue with no matrix. Occasionally you may find pyrite inclusions, which give it a little bit of sparkle.
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.
Twisted wire metalworking is a very old technique used by many Southwestern tribes. It can be found in both vintage and modern pieces.
Seen frequently throughout Native American jewelry, Sterling Silver "raindrops" are a traditional design element. They can be smooth and high polished or they can be starlike and oxidized.
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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