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 may be unique to the artist, or handed in a family of silversmiths. Michael Calladitto has a recognizable and unique style, and his work is highly sought after in New Mexico. Campitos Turquoise is a blue to blue-green turquoise that you will regularly find in Southwestern & authentic Native American handmade jewelry. Mined in Mexico from the Pino Chueco and Cananea mines in Sonora, Campitos Turquoise was mined extensively in ancient times, with evidence of trade with Native American peoples. Campitos is unique in several ways. It grows in clay as free-form nuggets, rather than as veins which is typical of many North American turquoises. Its color is said to most closely resemble Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, and ranges from a light to medium blue with no matrix, and occasionally pyrite inclusions, giving it a bit of sparkle. A lovely, hard stone with beautiful color, Campitos is a favorite for jewelry artisans. The mine as we know it today, has been producing since the 1980's. Campito in Spanish is a derivative of the word “campo”, meaning “field” or “countryside”.Authentic Native American Handmade Jewelry
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.