About the Artists|
We, at White Buffalo Collectibles, have collected the artwork of
many talented artists including the Navajo, Zuni, Hopi, Ute, and Northwest
Indian Tribes. In our travels for that perfect piece of art we have met many of
the artists and would like to provide a little information about some of them.
Alvin Yellowhorse is from the small town of Lupton, AZ. He
learned silver smithing from his father, Frank Yellowhorse. Alvin is well known
for mastering a style of inlay that is called "Channel Inlay" and still another
called "Corn Row Wave Inlay". He has been recognized by the Smithsonian
Magazine, the Art Boo Arizona Magazine and has won several Blue Ribbons for his
work at the Sante Fe Indian Market competitions.
Westly Begaye is a full blooded Native American Indian born in 1965 into
the Navajo Nation. Westly Married into the Acoma Pueblo and he was inspired to
continue the family tradition of working with clay from the late Marie Francis
Vallo (wife). She taught him all the fundamentals of hand coiling Acoma styled
Pottery. Westly has been working with art since age 12. However, he has been
working with pottery since 1994. Westly specializes in the handmade and
hand-painted Acoma style pottery.
Effie Calavaza, a Zuni artist from New Mexico, is one of the most
collected and most beloved Native American artists. But she is also one of the
bravest. Effie went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States of
America to obtain full copyright of her art work to stop those from importing
fake pieces of her work. She specializes in sand casting and incorporates large
stones with her snake designs. She began silver smithing in 1956 after learning
from her husband, Juan Calavaza. Her work is stamped EFFIE C. ZUNI which is the
family hallmark used by Effie and her daughters. Despite many rumors, Effie is
still making jewelry and her work is in demand world wide.
Harlan Coonsis is a Zuni artist who consistently wins awards at
major shows. His jewelry includes Silver Inlaid with Coral, Lapis, Jet,
Turquoise, Mother of Pearl and many other stones.
Tony Lorenzo is an upcoming Zuni Pueblo artist. His creations would
certainly make a beautiful centerpiece to display any where.
Ben Livingston, a Navajo from New Mexico (Black Rock), was
born May 18, 1954. He was born into the Black Sheep Clan for Tachini. He enjoys
horseback riding, hunting and fishing. He says "I've been living in Breadsprings,
New Mexico, all my life. I have a wife and four children with two grandchildren.
I started carving when I got out of high school. Most of the carvings I do
relate to Navajo people, what are sacred to them and have some meaning to them."
Breadsprings is a small community south of Gallup.
Lane Ayo, an artist from the Creek Nation. The name is also spelled La Ne
Ayo or LaNeAyo.
“Master Artist” Bill Rabbit, is self-taught in jewelery making & acrylic
painting. He does no preliminary sketching, allowing color to shape his
paintings. Viet Nam taught him that life’s moments are precious and he is
especially pleased to be working at what he truly loves. He now lives within the
Cherokee Nation in N.E. Oklahoma. Cherokee Census Number C018530
Tracie Rabbit through her artwork she tries to convey the contemporary
Native American woman, each having her own identity, with remembrances of her
past. She holds a bachelors degree in Business Administration from Northeaster
State Univ., in the heart of the Cherokee Nation. God and family have always
been a mainstay in her life. With them, all things are possible. Cherokee Census
Ernest Gantner Census Number 210392
Brenda Smith Census Number 457032
Tim Largo Census Number 423125
Darin Bill is a famous Navajo artist who has a very recognizable style.
He only creates "heavy" bracelets which is why he is so popular with the guys
but are equally enjoyed by both men and ladies. The bracelets are very masculine
and don't bend easily but can be adjusted to fit your wrist. Here you will find
some of his Sterling Silver bracelets, some have gold fillings. **** May 2003
- We at White Buffalo Collectibles are saddened at the passing of Darin James
Bill, in early May 2003. He is the well known Navajo silversmith who created
these beautiful bracelets. He was born August 6, 1965 in Sacaton, Arizona a part
of the Towering House People Clan for the Mexican People Clan. The obituary was
posted in the Gallup Independent Newspaper.
Hopi artists, Marty & Elvira Naha-Nampeyo, are an internationally known
husband and wife
team who are quickly rising to the top. Best known for red ware which was
introduced by Elvira’s father, Tom Polacca. Elvira is the great-granddaughter of
Nampeyo and Marty is the son of Emma Naha making them descendants of a long line
of potters. Their pottery has been shown throughout the Southwest and has been
seen in many publications and museums dealing with Indian art including being
featured in the Museum of Indian Arts & Cultures, Santa Fe, NM. Each of their
pieces represent their closeness with the Hopi way of life which makes their
pottery come to life.
Tommy Singer, a well regarded Navajo silversmith, is known throughout the
world for his jewelry work. Tommy started his jewelry making career when he was
21 years old. His style of "chip inlay" became popular when he discovered the
mosaic design inlay by experimenting with left over chips of many stones
including turquoise. If you are lucky enough to find one of his chip inlay
pieces be assured it is one of very few left because he went back to his
traditional overlay style.
|Ernest Benally, a Navajo jeweler, has
made a name for himself in the world of Native American jewelry as someone
with a great imaginative style. He's won many awards including first place
in the jewelry class at the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market in
Lee Bennett, a Navajo artist, is well known for his
exquisite craftsmanship working with silver and gold.
Sam Gray believes all Navajo Arts come from the life-style and
spirituality. This legacy is handed down from generation to generation. Sam's
jewelry making starts at his Grandmother's place. She and his mother came from
the Zuni Clan people. They used to make jewelry in the "good old days". The
Heartline bear and the Buffalo stamp are the family stamps. After he learned to
make jewelry he started using the patterns and the buffalo stamp as his mark. He
wanted his work to have a strong sense of harmony and hold a balance between
contemporary and traditional jewelry. His overlay storyteller and stone inlay
jewelry shows this harmony and balance. Sam is very thankful for all his mother
and grandmother taught him.
Calvin Begay is an award winning Navajo artist specializing in inlay
designs that reflect his Native American heritage. He was born in Gallup, New
Mexico in 1965 and raised in Tohatchi, New Mexico. He has a unique ability to
translate traditional Navajo inlay techniques into his style that reflects his
Native American heritage. Begay’s work is elegant, yet has a contemporary flair.
Calvin’s work is prized by clients and collectors, not only in the Southwest but
throughout the United States and the world. In the artistry of Calvin Begay, the
stunning beauty of the untamed West is reflected in the combination of color and
design that create unforgettable pieces of wearable art.
Tommy Moore is a Navajo artist who is well known for his work with silver
and turquoise. Anyone would be proud to wear one of his pieces.
Rose Pecos-Sun Rhodes is a Navajo/Jemez Storyteller artist. Her
mother, Carol Pecos, taught her how to make pottery at a very young age as did
Carol's mother. Carol's grandmother, Lupe Madalena Loretto, made figures in
the 1920's and passed
the tradition on to her daughters. It was not until about 1974 that Carol
started making the Storytellers when she discovered how much fun it was to
create them. In the 1980's she started making the Storytellers on a clay base
covered with children.
Rose started following the family traditions in the 1970's and has
been noted for her Navajo-style Storytellers painted in the traditional Jemez
brown, beige and terra-cotta polychrome. Instead of placing her figures on a
clay disc she has often extended the long skirt of the female Storyteller to
form the base on which the children are placed. Her trade mark is a little boy
wearing a cowboy hat which is found on all of her Storytellers.
"My husband, Sun Rhodes, who is an Arapaho, used to put his cowboy
hat on our little son, and I wanted to capture that look in clay, but it did not
fit in with the Pueblo style, so I started doing a Navajo version, with little
boys in cowboy hats and little girls holding traditional Navajo wedding baskets.
I make a point of putting in traditional Navajo cradleboards and the correct
detailing on the little girl's sashes." That was her inspiration for her now
Tom Vail a Navajo craftsperson who specializes in Horse Hair Pottery.
Horse Hair pottery is made by using hair from the tail and mane of a horse.
After one or two firings, the piece is again put back in a kiln and brought to a
certain temperature. It is then removed gently and carefully (the thing’s pretty
hot!!!). Horse hair is laid on the surface where it curls and burns. The
resulting carbon being drawn into the surface of the pot creates the wonderful
designs and patterns. The fine lines are created with the hair from the mane and
the thick lines are from the tail. Please don’t laugh at any horse you may see
with a short tail...!! Every pot is original and one of a kind. Census # 404437.
Kinlicheni (Native name Hanna Jay) & Johnnie Jay: Some of the most
beautiful pottery in the world comes from the Santa Clara Pueblos. We have found
a line of pottery which is done in the Santa Clara “style” which has a more
reasonable price for those wanting to display this style of pottery. This
pottery is made from homemade sand cast, kiln fired and is painted on slip. Deep
carved pottery is the foundation of traditional Santa Clara pottery and these
pieces depict this same style. The artist, Kinlicheni (Native name Hanna Jay),
is of the Red House People of
the Rainbow clan and has been a potter for over 21 years. Her grandmother made
Santa Clara style pottery before her. Marrying into this long tradition, Johnnie
Jay of the Tangle clan / Fruit clan has been creating beautiful pieces himself
for over 12 years. Hanna and Johnnie live near Hovenweep in the Four Corner area
on the Dine’ reservation. They are full blooded Navajos and they have
incorporated their Navajo culture into each of their potteries. Their works of
art are original creations and have been collected by people from all over the
United States as well as other countries. To make their beautiful creations,
Hanna and Johnnie use sandcasted molds and trade for the mud and materials used
to make their own glazes. Anyone of these pieces would be a welcome addition to
your Native American Collection.
Noreen Simplicio is from the Zuni Pueblo and had her first lesson in
pottery making in 1977, at the local High School by instructor Jennie Laate, an
Acoma woman. She specialize in seed-bowls with lizards, miniatures bowls and
vases with scenes of ancient pueblo dwellings and tiny figures of pueblo
inhabitants. She received
an Award of Excellence for her work in February, 1988, when she entered her
first competitive Art Show in Palm Springs, California. At the All Zuni Artist
Show in the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff,in May, 1989, she received
four First Place blue ribbons, one second place and one third place. These are
only a part of her growing list of awards.
Doreen Lansing's work is included in Theda Bassman’s book “Treasures of
the Navajo”. She is well known for her Navajo Design Pottery and she hand signs
each of her pots.
Loretta Silas, a Hopi artist, is the daughter of Roberta Silas. Hopi
pottery goes back more than a thousand years. By the 1800s trading and
production of pottery almost disappeared. It was brought back to life by the
tourism market after the railroad went through Arizona in around 1880s.
Diane Aragon is from the Laguna Pueblo. Her etched pottery is a "must
Ella Cadman, a Navajo artist, is well known for her pottery.
Paige is a potter from the Ute tribe, we have several of her beautiful
Deldrick Cellicion is a Zuni artist who's artwork is highly Prized &
sought after by collectors Worldwide. His pottery is a must for any collector
and will make a fantastic addition to your home.
Marcus Homer, a Zuni Pueblo, was inspired by his ancestors to continue
the family tradition of pottery making. His hand coiled corn meal bowls and
fetish bowls are his just part of his unique style.
|Tony Lorenzo is a Zuni artist and his
lizard pottery is simply beautiful and a must see.
Shirley Calabaza's Santo Domingo (Heishi) Pueblo Jewelry
speaks for itself. One of her Santo Domingo necklaces would be a piece that
anyone would be proud to wear.
Silver Hawk is Cherokee and well known for his original "feather bone"
jewelry. Each piece is hand-carved from Bison bone, hand-painted and signed to
make his unique jewelry. His feathers represent various birds of prey and are
signed by Silver Hawk.
Leta Shale makes her home in Queets, a tiny Quinault Indian village,
where life revolves around the traditions and culture of her people. She is a
basketmaker who uses beargrass and western cedar (Thuja plicata) to put her
family's design of a whale and bird on her baskets. (click
here to see a nice image of Leta)
Andy and Roberta Abeita, from the Pueblo of Isleta, have
been creating beautiful creations for many years. Andy hand carves the
sculptures and fetishes while his wife and partner, Roberta, adds the final
touches to each using feathers, beads, engraving and more. (click
here for more information about this artist)
Contact us for more info