Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stanley Parker's Traditional Old Style Navajo Jewelry

Stanley Parker (1952..) was born and raised on the Navajo reservation in the shadow of the great Shiprock located in the 4 corners region of New Mexico. Unlike many of his contemporary competitors who had the early advantage of childhood home schooling in the fine art of silversmithing, he learned his skill later in life. As a young man, he began working in the electronics industry soldering circuit boards, but he was subsequently drawn to silvermithing as a career after watching others work in the medium. He told me that his experience soldering electronic circuits facilitated his transition to working with silver. I was very impressed with his work I first discovered at a wholesale distributor in Albuquerque. I met him two years running at the Santa Fe Indian Market, but it wasn't until last week that he called me and asked to visit me here in Gallup. Two things about Stanley's work that really stand out are: 1) master silversmithing and 2) choice of natural turquoise. His silver work is so precise that it looks machine made, only on careful inspection in most cases can one see "maker-marks." Stanley is very careful in his choice of stones and finding satisfactory "cabachons" for mounting is his biggest production frustration. He used to cut his own from raw materials, but now finds he doesn't have the time to cut and polish. His fine work understandably commands high prices. The bracelet above featuring the rectangle of King Manassas turquoise is $435.00.