Wind River Jewelry Artist Bios: I - P
Tommy Jackson was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1958. Tommy learned the art of silversmithing from his mother and father, Martha and Gene Jackson.
He works both in gold and silver and has won numerous awards for his beautiful and unique jewelry. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a bachelors degree in Elementary Education.
Tommy now teaches at Wide Ruins Community School. He teaches Navajo children Navajo reading, writing, history, and culture - and of course, arts and crafts. Many of his former students are now established jewelers themselves.
Tommy Jackson and his wife, Marie Jackson, have seven children and reside in Ganado, Arizona.
Born in 1959 on the Zuni Pueblo, Albert Jake now resides in Albuquerque, NM with his wife and two daughters. Albert learned the art of silversmithing from his parents and began making jewelry in 1987. He specializes in traditional set stones and cluster jewelry with intricate stamp work. A man of many talents, he is also a sand painter and potter.
Lorenzo Juan was born on October 6, 1954. He started silversmithing in 1969. Lorenzo currently lives in Church Rock, New Mexico and works out of Gallup, New Mexico.
His first creations were making beaded silver work. Since then he has come a long way into making more complicated pieces. The style of jewelry that he enjoys making the most right now is the petroglyph overlay, which he takes his time making, because “in the end it is worth the time, if done right, it looks amazing!”
Robert and Bernice Leekya
RLB is the hallmark of husband and wife team Robert and Bernice Leekya. Robert was born in 1934, and was taught the art of silversmithing by his father, the esteemed Leekya Deyuse (1889-1966) during the 1940s. Robert started working in his signature nugget style in 1953. He won many awards in his lifetime for his cluster work using high quality nugget stones. Unfortunately Robert has passed away but is survived by his wife, Bernice.
Bernice Leekya is the daughter of Zuni artists Doris Ondelacy and Wayne Ondelacy, who taught her inlay and cluster work, her favorite designs being Knifewing and Rainbow Man.
Robert and Bernice Leekya made beautiful bracelets, nugget watches, bolos, belt buckles, and belts together since the 1960s. Their favorite materials to work with were high-quality Kingman stones and heavy sterling silver (18-26 gauge).
Darrin Livingston resides in Church Rock, New Mexico, where he was also born and raised. At the young age of 13, Darrin started learning how to make jewelry. After graduating from high school, he became more interested in the silversmith trade and began to earn a living from it.
Darrin is known for precisely setting his stones in a clean and evenly finished bezel. His pieces are always made carefully and are signed with his hallmark: D. Livingston. Quality is the hallmark of his work and he takes much care in completing each piece. From the simplest single stone pendant to the advanced multi-stone necklace, Darrin’s work reflects the best of traditional Navajo silver work.
Paul Livingston was born in 1954 and has spent his entire life on the Navajo Church Rock Reservation, where he grew up watching his silversmith Uncle craft raw metal and stone into beautiful jewelry. Through trial and error and a great deal of help from his Uncle, Paul became an accomplished jewelry maker, and by the time he was twenty-two he launched himself into full-time silversmithing.
Today, Paul is a nationally known and collected jewelry artist. He is known for a style of jewelry most silversmiths shy away from: a technique known as ‘cluster and row work’ where multiple tiny stones are used together to form delicate, colorful designs in jewelry. Paul is happy to work with the little stones, even the tiny round “snake eye” ones and is renowned for how exquisitely aligned the stone clusters and rows of stones are on his pieces.
Though his forte has always been more traditional and even vintage-style Navajo jewelry, including squash blossoms, his contemporary designs are also in high demand. Paul Livingston creates beautiful jewelry using stones that aren’t often found in Native American jewelry.
Zuni artist Pauline Lonjose focuses on exquisite Sunface jewelry. She makes this traditional design in a variety of different styles. Like many Zuni artists, Pauline excels in lapidary skills including inlay, needlepoint, and petite point work.