Rebecca Begay – Navajo
Born on the Navajo reservation, Rebecca and her husband, Darryl Dean Begay were raised in the traditional way. Weaving and ceremonial sand painting were part of every day life. Darryl learned from his uncle Bobby Begay, who was a medicine man in the Native American Church. He began his career in 1997, learning traditional tufa casting. Raymond C. Yazzie mentored him in inlay and Myron Pantaeh on the importance of patina to bring out colors on the silver. He was taught style from Timothy Begay who learned the art of silver smithing from Kenneth Begay while he taught at Navajo Community College. Darryl taught Rebecca the art as their three sons began to grow and she had a bit more time to help him in the studio. As founder of Turquoise Enthusiast, Darryl has always sought out and worked with the finest natural American turquoise. Colors play a significant part in his work, reflecting Navajo custom. Coral, lapis, mother of pearl and turquoise are often included. Darryl is featured in many publications such as Native Peoples, American Indian Art, Cowboys and Indians and Southwest Art. He is prominent in David Federman’s book, Silver Styles, pages 54-56, Nancy A. Schiffer’s, Masters of Contemporary Indian Jewelry, pages 23-32, Dexter Cerillo’s, Southwestern Indian Jewelry, pages 64-67 and Dr Gregory Schaff’s, American Indian Jewelry II: A-L 1,800 Artist Biographies. Working together or separately, Rebecca and Darryl Dean have won too many awards to list including the prestigious Best in Show at the 2009 Santa Fe Indian Market.
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