My Name is Tom Yazzie I am a Navajo, born and raised on the Navajo Reservation. I am of the Bitter Water clan born for the Water Edge, my maternal grandparents are Towering House and my paternal grandparents are Red House.
I received my Bachelors of Arts in Music with an emphasis in Classical Guitar Performance from Northern Arizona University in 2000. I continued working at NAU then decided to recommence my education and began taking classes for my second degree. I received my second Bachelors in Fine Arts with an emphasis on Metalsmithing in spring of 2012. I am now enrolled to receive another Bachelor in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Sculpture.
My designs come from interpretation of the world around me. I continue to challenge my abilities with metal by discovering new ways to create a piece that is uncomplicated and multifaceted. This approach allows me to maintain the traditional styles of my Navajo heritage along with a more contemporary twist to my finished wearable work. I enjoy the visual effects of coupling hand cut gemstones and minerals with my metal designs. I utilize hand selected raw materials and shape them to perfectly fit each pieces. This allows me creative freedoms to design forms from beginning to end.
While I utilize a variety of materials and processes in each piece, my methodology remains consistent. My intent is to bring into fruition my personal designs with an underlying theme of traditional yet contemporary Navajo Jewelry.
Most of the metal used is silver. The pieces are either fabricated from sheet silver or cast from silver casting grain. Everything is hand made from raw stock. I do all the lapidary work on the stones. I typically buy raw uncut material then will cut the stones to make the design of the piece work. This allows me to take an idea and finish it from beginning to end. I use a variety of stones from Mediterranean coral, Lapis Lazuli, Abalone shell, Turquoise, Obsidian volcanic glass, Opals, Amber, Chinese Jade…
Can this ring be sized? If so how much will it cost?
All of my rings are one offs therefore resizing would be not recommended because I would have to take the ring apart and this sometimes alters the piece. Possibly damaging the stone.
Are these earring posts hypo-allergenic?
I typically use all 20 gauge sterling silver wire for the posts/hoops.
Cleaning instructions’, maintenance, expected lifetime:
A general polishing cloth could be used to shine the silver. NO harsh chemicals on the stones (it could alter the color of the stone). Simple mild cleaning solutions can be used to wipe down the metal and stone.
Twitter - @tymetalsmithing
Instagram - Tom_Yazzie_Metalsmithing