Friday, November 9, 2007

Just Missed Meeting the Coin Man-James McCabe

It's been about 2 weeks since I made rounds at one of my favorite suppliers, so on the way to Chelles restaurant tonight, the best place for fine dining in Gallup, we stopped in. On entered the back room, I nodded and said hello to a middle age Navajo man talking to the owner, Sammy. Soon Sammy stepped back and said, "Oh rats, that was James McCabe and I didn't introduce you." We both trotted out of the store hoping to catch him in the parking lot but we were too late. There are very few silversmith in the Gallup region that work in old coins and of them James is without a single doubt the best. I ended up buying some of his work including a very nice concho belt. About 2 or 3 months I was concerned that we would not be seeing any more of James' work on the market; but today, I understand he is back with us and ready to go.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Collaborative Treasures

This has been a good buying week for me. Gallup is both the retail and wholesale mecca for Native American jewelry. I typically make rounds of those places I know well to find new and unique creations, much less frequently I buy directly from the artists. I have been tempted to furnish stones of known origin and quality and ask for specific products from our numerous local smiths, but that creates an obligation to buy hurriedly produced products that might be defective. Cherry picking in the wholesale treasure troves of Gallup best suits me as a retailer at this time.

I am always interested in putting up collector / museum quality pieces and I found two great collaborative creations this week. One was a collaborative bracelet by Pete and Dinah Gaspar (Zuni stone carvers) and master silversmith Gary Reeves. I sold it within hours of my buying it so it will not see the light of my Ebay store. I also bought another very unique collaborative work by an expert and widely known micro in-layer Clayton Tom and the famous silversmith Calvin Begay. Their cosmic necklace creation is a sensation.

Besides those creations. I bought up a sack full of Calvin Begay necklaces with matching earrings which have proved very popular.

As we settled in for a coffee break at his place of work, I was both pleased and amused when Calvin complained that he didn't have my phone number on my business card that he keeps in his wallet. He pulled it out and I filled in the main number. For such a famous name, he is relatively young and I don't want to lose contact with him.