Tribal Affiliation: Navajo
“As a young boy, I remember helping my father set up a table of jewelry along the roadside of old Route 66 located near the Arizona and New Mexico borders in Lupton, Arizona. It was in these earlier days of my life that I was inspired by my father to undertake the art of silversmithing. It’s through these experiences that these creations are made possible.”
Alvin learned the silversmithing trade at an early age from his father, Frank Yellowhorse, and later mastered the techniques of cutting the small turquoise & other colorful stones into precise little pieces in which he assembles into intricate designs inspired by his ancestors.
Channel Inlay is a style of inlay where all the stones are cut & assembled together first & then ground flush before being highly polished. Another style of inlay Alvin favors is called “corn wow wave” or cobblestone” in which the stones are individually cut & rounded over before setting them into a silver or gold bracelet, pendant, ring, or link bracelet. This inlay technique is much more time consuming as each individual stone must be completely finished one at a time before placing them into the gold or silver setting.
His contemporary designs have Zuni, Hopi and traditional Navajo influences. He creates one piece of jewelry at a time, focusing on the details. Alvin also receives inspiration from the ancient petroglyphs found along the canyon walls near his workshop.
Aside from being featured in several high-end galleries, each year Alvin enters his jewelry in the annual Santa Fe Indian Market competition, where he has won several ribbons. His work can also be found at the annual Heard Museum competition in Phoenix, AZ.
Alvin is forever amazing the jewelry & art galleries with new designs & techniques.