Deceased GIBSON NEZ, Jicarilla Apache/Navajo, is known throughout the Indian arts industry and by collectors worldwide as the master of stamp work. No other craftsman comes close to the expert precision of his sharp, clean, impossibly close stamps. Parallel lines, a hairs-breadth apart, encircle bolos and bracelets like radiants of energy, drawing your eye to the extraordinary, gem-grade stone Gibson handpicks to feature in the center. Stamp work of Gibson’s caliber requires pain-staking patience and an eye for balance.
“What is important to me is to make one nice piece, not a lot of mediocre pieces.” Famous inlay artist Jesse Monongye and silver and goldsmith Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell also influenced Gibson. “These artists approach their art with a positive attitude and a smart business sense.” Gibson himself has played a part in helping other artists. In numerous books and articles on Navajo craftsmen, Gibson has been credited by other artists for providing invaluable creative influence. Over 35 books also feature articles on Gibson and his unmatched style. His pieces have won ribbons and awards at all the major competitions including Gallup Ceremonial, Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum, the All Mankind Jewelry Competition in Washington, D.C, and Casa Grande in Arizona.
When asked what made him most proud in his work, Gibson said, “I simply try to make a piece that highlights the stone.”