Friday, February 22, 2008

The Hearts of Rick Tolino

I came to appreciate Rick Tolino as one of the great contemporary Navajo silversmiths by examining his art first hand, but his discovery as a highly talented jewelry designer was made years ago. His work has won him an abundance of awards, and his lovely jewely has been widely represented in numerous publications such as Arizona Highways, Cowboys and Indians magazine, and Theda Bassman’s exceptionally well illustrated book, The Beauty of Navajo Jewelry. I hope to interview Rick personally in the coming months for my fact file on him is rather barren. I do know that he was born into the great American Southwest here in Gallup in 1961 and he grew up a few miles away on the reservation in Coyote Canyon. He began his work as a silversmith in high school. Rick’s work covers the usual array of jewelry adornments: belt buckles, bracelets, pins, rings, and pendants. Hopefully, I’ll have much more say after meeting him in person a few moons from now.