Tribal Affiliation: Navajo
“I make jewelry for a living, I am passionate about it and do it the old way.”
My great grandpa made jewelry who dates back to Fort Sumner. His original name was Shin, which means dark in Navajo. The whites changed that to Navajo Jim, and that is where my last name comes from.
I was always interested in jewelry. My aunt and grandma who raided me always had very nice traditional jewelry. They also wove rugs at home, so I was always around art. When I was a freshman I took a jewelry class at Gallup High school with John Hall, who inspired my passion for jewelry making. Mr. Hall would be there at 6:30 in the morning when I arrived at his shop. By starting in the morning, that allowed me to finish projects early. He taught me electro plating, tufa casting, cutting cabs, and much more.”
Adapted from American Indian Jewelry II: A-L by Gregory Schaaf.