Navajo Sterling and Turquoise Bolo by Wilson & Carol Begay
Husband and wife team Wilson and Carol Begay are traditional Navajo silversmiths who have been practicing their craft since 1969. They came from families well known for their jewelry making. Luke Begay, Wilson’s father, is credited with teaching them much of the craft, including the sandcast style that the family are famed for. Luke is a well- renowned Navajo jewelry master, who gained many years experience at the famous Kirk Brothers Trading Company in Gallup, New Mexico and has educated published authors in silversmithing. Similarly, Carol’s parents, Angela and Allen Chee were both silversmiths who worked alongside C.G. Wallace, the famous jewelry trader from Zuni, New Mexico. The Begay’s typical Sandcast style involves the artist making carvings in Tufa stone to make forms to shape molten silver. They routinely work as a pair, with Wilson concentrating on the casting and building the foundations of the jewelry and Carol setting the stones and doing the finishing work. They work together to design their jewelry and their variety of styles includes bracelets, concho belts and rings.
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