I am a sixth generation Navajo silversmith born and raised in the great state of New Mexico, My maternal clan is Ts’ah Yask’idnii (Sagebrush Hill) with my paternal clan being Dibe Lizhini (Black Sheep). I currently reside in Rio Rancho with my beautiful wife Melvina and our two lovely daughters.
My third Great-Grandfather, Gray Horse was the first silversmith in our family. His son, my second Great-Grandfather Big Horse followed suit. His daughter, my Great-Grandmother Nosbah and her husband Cutnose Charley, were third generation smiths. Fourth in line was my amazing Grandmother Louise Charley Morgan, whom my dad Harry Morgan credited as the sole inspiration for his style of jewelry making. It was a style that focused heavily on sandcasting and stamp work. Turquoise was used mostly in freeform settings which gave the pieces a beautiful balance. Although I came from a long line of silversmiths, I really had no inclination to follow in their footsteps.
During a golfing trip in 2005, my oldest brother Kelly encouraged me to take up silversmithing to help continue on our long standing family tradition. Heeding his advice and realizing the importance of it, I quickly began purchasing tools and started practicing with copper. One year later my first silver project making rings and bracelets was underway with the help of my dad. I was adamant about taking the pieces home to work on because I understood the importance of trial and error. After completion I would bring them back to him for inspection and for more instruction.
In 2009 I participated in my first major art show at the prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market. There I was awarded a First Place blue ribbon for a sterling silver jewelry box. The following year I participated in the 2010 Heard Indian Fair & Market. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend both ever since. In doing so, there have been many helpful, valuable and positive lessons/experiences learned by participating in them. The summer of 2014 was definitely a highlight. I was able to contribute two pieces along with several other Native American artists to the Swaia ‘Inspirational Women’ and IFAM ‘Buffalo Medicine’ collaborative concho belts.
I strive to make unique, one of a kind jewelry by incorporating contemporary designs with an old-style look and feel. Honoring our elder’s contributions while setting a path for future generations is a rewarding and worthwhile responsibility. Being a Navajo silversmith is an absolute honor and privilege. I thank you all for your support!
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