Harry H. Begay – Navajo
Harry H. Begay began his jewelry making career in the early 1970s. He is widely recognized as reviving traditional Native American silver smithing by building a piece of jewelry out of ingot sterling silver. He heats the ingot and anneals it prior to hammering out the desired shape. He then pulls the wire to be used in the piece through an iron block with different sized holes to create different gauges. Harry’s work is significant in that the resulting piece is so thick and heavy that it could not have been purchased from sheet and wire at a commercial supply store. This process is so labor intensive that it takes many times longer to create a piece. It is for this reason that he only uses the finest turquoise on the market. This includes the classic mines from Nevada, including Lone Mountain, Pilot Mountain, Red Mountain, Royston, Candelaria, Carico Lake and Godber Burnham. Harry’s contribution is so significant that he ranks as one of the most collectible Navajo silversmiths of the twentieth century. With over forty years of fine jewelry making behind him, we are proud to carry his work in the twilight of his career.
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