Raymond Yazzie, Navajo, was born in Vanderwagen, NM in 1959. He was raised in a family of silversmiths and his mother was always very encouraging and supportive of his work. When he was about ten years old he worked for Joe Tanner and eventually learned to cut stones from his older brother Lee. Raymond uses a myriad of stones in his jewelry cutting them to perfection. He has won many awards through the years, which have included Best in Division at the Heard Museum Show in Phoenix, and 1st place at Indian Market in Santa Fe. His jewelry has been on exhibit at the Museum of Northern Arizona, Heard Museum in Phoenix, “Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 1”, and the American Craft Museum in New York.

Raymond Yazzie is known for his intricate and original inlay work. “A lot of energy, a lot of time and a lot of thought goes into my pieces. There’s times when you say, ‘Is this ever going to be done?’ And there’s times when you want to finish it sooner, and decide ‘Should I take a shortcut and use larger pieces?’ Because you’re the only one that’s going to know! But you won’t feel good about the piece once it’s finished because you know that wasn’t the way it was supposed to be.”


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