Hopi carved pieces from award winning artists

We have a very nice selection of Hopi carved pieces, many from award winning artists. Recently I picked up a few mid-size kachinas from Raymond Chee to add to the remaining miniatures from our last cycle. On consignment is a great Ahola and Eototo set carved by Leon Dallas as well as a wonderful Sun Kachina. Jeremy Lanza has brought in a couple of mid sized pieces which are very reasonably priced for their size. We have many others, including work from Laurence Dallas, Sterling McRay, Duwayne Chee, Wayne Poleahla and many others.

Marvin Toya has carved up another batch of small alabaster pieces, giving us a splendid selection of stone sculptures from which to choose.

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Spectacular rugs from the Teec Nos Pos, Ship Rock, and Farmington areas

We picked up some spectacular rugs from the Teec Nos Pos, Ship Rock, and Farmington areas. We have another beautiful Teec Nos Pos rug by Sara George, several great colorful Burnt Water weavings and a very nice Chief pattern style weaving by multi award winning weaver Janice Van Winkle. Additionally, you’ll have a rare opportunity to add to your collection a very fine Della Woody Yei Bi Chei tapestry weaving we obtained recently from a close family friend. This tapestry has a weft count between 100 and 120 depending on the color of the wool that was used. It is a magnificent piece of work! As we go to press, I will also be picking up rugs from Bill Malone in Gallup before we head your way. In all, we will have a very nice selection rugs as well as some Navajo pillow sets by Sally Arviso.

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Things are looking very good for Native American jewelry in 2015

Spring fashions are out and things are looking very good for Native American jewelry this year. It seems people are catching on to the beauty of Native American handmade jewelry and are eager to support American-made products. Look around and you’ll notice the renaissance of turquoise jewelry in fashion magazines, on TV newscasters and in Hollywood. The March and April issues of Cowboys and Indians feature lots of great jewelry. Models were sporting multiple silver bead necklaces in combinations with strands of turquoise of other multi strand necklaces. Big, beautiful cluster style turquoise and spiny oyster shell necklaces as well as gorgeous concho belts were also featured. March’s issue showcased pieces by Daryl Dean Begay, Leon Martinez, Guy Hoskie, Sunshine Reeves, Aaron Anderson and Alton Bedonie — all artists whose work we carry! It was great to see their work featured in the magazine, although Alton’s spiny oyster shell and silver bracelet was mislabeled as “Anthony Bedonie.” Because of this typo, Cowboys and Indians promised to feature one of his pieces in another issue this year (and correctly identify him).

After a tough winter, we’re happy to herald the arrival of spring with necklaces, earrings, bracelets and more in a celebration of cheerful colors such as orange, red and purple spiny oyster shell, coral, sugilite charoite, lapis, white buffalo, onyx, gaspeite, boulder turquoise and more. Of course we will also have a vast array of all the beautiful shades of turquoise, from pale barely-there blue to bright, intense blue as well as varying shades of green!

In anticipation of warmer weather, there will be a great selection of shorter neckwear as well as an excellent selection of silver bead necklaces and multi strand necklaces. We have asked Alton Bedonie to make some choker length necklaces using lapis, spiny oyster shell and turquoise and are looking forward to seeing what he comes up with. We are hoping to have at least one of each color by the time we leave for this series. Gerald Lomaventema came by and we were thrilled to purchase two bracelets, a necklace, two pair of earrings and a buckle. Gerald won the Best of Jewelry award at the 2014 Santa Fe Indian Market, and his work has been in demand. He uses a very difficult method of jewelry making by combining tufa cast with overlay work. As his work has been in short supply, we were happy to be able to secure some of his pieces this time around. During one of our buying trips to Gallup we met with Steven Arviso and purchased some of his super cool bracelets. He calls his heavy wide bracelet the “optical illusion style.” This bracelet actually looks like it is getting wider as you rotate it. A must see — it’s mesmerizing!

For this series, we also obtained some great Zuni jewelry, including a magnificent pair of earrings by Connie Seowtewa showcasing her exquisite petit-point work. In fact, we added lots of great new styles of Zuni jewelry this time! Navajo artists from Stone Weaver have also been very busy and we have a nice new selection of their jewelry as well as great new works from Bruce Hodgins, Mary Tom, Kee Yazzie, Nelson Begay, and Myron Panteah.

I think this is going to be a banner year for southwest jewelry!

See you at the show!

Eric

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Navajo rugs and sandpaintings for our 2014 holiday shows

Navajo Rugs

At the end of the summer, we picked up some spectacular rugs from the Teec Nos Pos trading post, so we have a great selection from this area for our holiday series. We will also be picking up rugs from Bill Malone in Gallup before we head your way and plan to have a nice selection of the smaller weavings as well, which are great to put on tables or use for display with pottery or kachinas. These smaller weavings also make great gifts. Another popular item is the Navajo pillow set made by Sally Arviso. We have requested more from her and are hoping to have at least two or three sets by show time.

Sand Paintings

On our buying trips to the Ship Rock area, we obtained several very nice and finely detailed sand paintings with excellent matting work. We also picked up a nice selection of smaller sand paintings, as well as some of the small boxes with sand-painted lids. These make great accent pieces and very nice gifts too.

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What’s new in katsinas and sculptures for the holidays

The Katsina are preparing to return to their home inside the San Francisco Peaks for the end of the year. The Hopi are focusing on keeping their homes warm and working on dance attire for the coming return ceremonies. Despite the resulting slowing of artwork, we have continued to purchase what pieces do trickle into Flagstaff. Not to worry — the quality is superb as always. Current pieces include new works from Raymond Chee, Laurence Dallas, Jeremy Lanza, and Silas Roy.

Alabaster sculptor Marvin Toya has crafted a few more stone pieces for us in a variety of sizes for whatever your holiday budget might be. We will also have some Navajo carved pieces to round out our sculpture and katsina inventory for the holiday season.

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More about our holiday inventory: Pottery

We have a very nice selection of pottery to fit into your holiday budget, from inexpensive yet beautiful horsehair pieces to hand-coiled pots crafted by award-winning artists.

There will be a large quantity of hand-etched ollas and vases on hand, as well as the popular lizard themed Zuni pots and some new pieces with shapes that are not commonly found. We have several pieces depicting bears, buffalo, hummingbirds and eagles, which are crafted by Navajo artists and make unique decorative gifts. Some of the artists represented in our inventory will be Glendora Daubs, Dennis and Patricia Daubs, Loretta Navasie, Mary Lucero, Maria Martinez, Franklin Peters, Diane Lewis, and many more.

As always, we have a great selection of impressive pottery for your home decorating, collecting or gift-giving. Whether you want a molded or hand-coiled piece, we have something that’s sure to please.

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Jewelry for the 2014 holiday season

Our 2014 holiday season show series begins with a new and fantastic selection of fall-inspired designs as well as a great selection of gift ideas. As we go to press, our buying continues with a focus on purchasing longer neckwear as well as a nice complement of long sterling silver chains and handmade silver beads.

In our quest for purple color, we have enlisted the skills of Alton Bedonie to create a charoite necklace and possibly a few pendants. He just completed a gorgeous pietersite necklace and a spectacular heavy silver bracelet and is currently working on a multi-stone necklace with lapis, larimar, pietersite and red, orange, and purple spiny oyster shell. Kee Yazzie is making us one of his beautiful 14kt gold and sterling silver bracelets like the one (his work) that is featured in the book Changing Hands — Contemporary Native American Art by Ellen Taubman and the Indian Market issue of Southwest Art magazine. Jack Tom stopped by and we purchased two of his great necklaces and one of his hard to get bolo ties. He doesn’t make bolo ties often, so we jumped at the chance for this rare piece. We also have a great selection of pendants, link bracelets and chains by Bruce Hodgins to include one pendant with a Turkish druzy stone.

We have some great new pieces from Mary Tom as well as her brother Nelson Begay (who we met at the Navajo show here in Flagstaff this past summer) that include a beautiful coral necklace, a bolo tie and several rings. Sunshine Reeves introduced us to his friend and fellow artist Steven Arviso, whose work is stunning. Sunshine sold us two of his heavy stamped bracelets and we are expecting to purchase more of his jewelry before we begin this show series. From Steven we acquired several buckles and bolos as well as seven or so bracelets, including one fascinating work that Steven calls his “optical illusion” bracelet. It defies description — you have to see this piece in person to understand it!

If you are looking for that special collector piece from Carl Clark, we just obtained one of his rare “ID” style bracelets. As would be expected, this is a stunning piece, and incorporates 1500–1800 stones in its Yei figure mosaic.

We acquired more pieces from a collection that is turning out to be very extensive. This time we were able to get some great amber pieces, including several necklaces and link bracelets from Poland (which are difficult to find these days). We also purchased some great Native American made amber rings and earrings.

We’ll have a nice selection of rhodochrosite jewelry by those wonderful and skilled Navajo artists at First American in Gallup. They have been very prolific with their rhodochrosite works, and we are amazed at the variety of unique designs they continue to come up with. We have also gathered a very nice array of Zuni made earrings, pendants and rings. These make great gifts and are sure to enhance any collection.

See you at the show!

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New pottery, kachinas, and paintings for fall

Pottery

With the ever-changing weather of the southwest’s monsoons, firing of ceramics can be tricky. Nevertheless, we have been able to acquire some very nice new pieces as artists forge ahead and prepare for the years peak in competition at Indian Market. We have a nice selection of pieces from Pauline Estevan, Franklin Peters, Wilfred Garcia, Emma and Marcella Yepa, Patricia Daubs, Sandra Victorino, Diane Lewis, Marilyn Ray, Carolyn Lucero, and Mary Lucero, as well as a piece each by Maria Martinez, Tonita Roybal, Joy Navasie (2nd Frog Woman) and Helen Naha (Feather Woman). As always we have a great selection of impressive pottery for your home decorating, collecting or gift-giving. Whether you want a molded or hand coiled piece, we have something that’s sure to please.

Kachinas

Summertime holds some of the most festive of Hopi dances. It is a time of celebration and happiness, crops are coming in, monsoon rains are falling, the new crop of livestock is reaching maturity and there are family homecomings. We will have several different Kachinas that are associated with the season and its events. For example, the marsh kachina, who represents the newly formed ponds created by the monsoon rains, fishing Mudheads, dancing Mudheads, animal Kachinas plus others are all inspired by this most prosperous time of year and the weather that brings it. In addition to the Hopi Kachinas, Raymond Chee has carved for us some dancers associated with Apache and Navajo culture such as the Yei-Be-Chei and mountain spirit dancers as well as a very nice Hunting Owl. Marvin Toya also carved a couple of new alabaster sculptures for us — a corn spirit and an eagle.

Sand Paintings

This summer presented us with a nice opportunity to meet some new artists and pick up some great pieces from them. On a recent buying trip to the Ship Rock area we obtained several very nice fine detailed sand paintings with excellent matting work as well as a nice selection of the smaller sand paintings which make great accent pieces and very nice gifts. We also made a stop at the famed Teec Nos Pos trading post to select some of their Navajo rugs for this show series. As well, earlier this summer we were able to purchase another set of much soughtafter Navajo rug pillows, five finely detailed tiny Navajo rugs (3”by 5”) and a very nice Two Grey Hills eye dazzler by Verna Begay. In addition, Bill Malone has once again promised to provide us with a great selection of his Navajo rugs for this show series. A new acquaintance, Nelson Begay’s wife Mary Lou, showed us some photos of a gorgeous rug she was currently working on, which she was trying to have completed in time for the Museum of Northern Arizona Navajo show. As we go to press the show has not yet taken place, but we’re hoping to be able to purchase it from her afterwards.

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Summer / fall jewelry inventory — what’s new

Our summer buying season was off to a great start, with eight fantastic new necklaces by Mary Tom, four of which include various colors of spiny oyster shell, two in all sterling silver and two with coral cabochons. Alton Bedonie has been by many times with new jewelry. He continued his adventurous foray into the world of exotic stones with a masterpiece Larimar bolo tie, several pietersite rings and a gorgeous wide larimar bracelet. Upon showing Alton a bracelet that his nephew Tom, Jim had created back in the late 1990s, Alton was very impressed and asked if I would like him to create an all-silver bracelet. The answer was “yes — two would be nice”! He returned a couple of weeks later with an incredibly beautiful, very heavy (6.9oz), wide (1 & 3/16”) — super cool bracelet. He said the second bracelet will be slightly smaller, almost as wide and just as “super cool.” Alton is also working on a pietersite necklace as well and possibly a charoite necklace, and a unique multi-stone, multicolored necklace.

Bruce Hodgins also came by with some of his beautiful, contemporary jewelry. We purchased several pendants, one of which has a Turkish druzy quartz stone. The other pendants are silver with pietersite and lapis and Montana agate with peridot. We picked up some more of his handmade chains as well as two of his heavy chain-mail style bracelets. Bruce also made us some of his silver Hopi overlay band rings along with two pietersite rings. I saw Myron Panteah at the beginning of the summer and he had just come up with a new style of wide bracelet, so we bought four. Now that he has started working again we hope to have more of his wonderful jewelry by the start of our show series.

We dug deep and purchased another beautiful bracelet by Vernon Haskie and a bolo tie that can only be described as “spectacular.” We also purchased another bracelet by Rebecca Begay with Lone Mtn. turquoise. We are expecting she will win quite a few awards at the Santa Fe Indian market, so this is your chance to own her exquisite work before prices potentially go up.

On another of our buying trips, we picked up some very nice Santo Domingo necklaces including several by Daniel Coriz. Also acquired were several multi strand nugget necklaces made with Mojave green turquoise (dyed Kingman turquoise), which is an affordable alternative to Gaspésie. We also obtained a beautiful Harlen Coonsis knife wing dancer necklace with multi colored stones. Nelson Begay (Mary Tom’s and Steven Begay’s brother) stopped by and we bought several of his pieces. We hope to have more jewelry from him after the Navajo show in Flagstaff. Given what we’ve already acquired, you are sure to be wowed by the spectacular selection of jewelry we will have in our showroom this fall.

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Farewell to Bart Leggett

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to a dear member of the AIS family.  On July 7, 2014, Bart Leggett passed away unexpectedly.  Bart became a member of our family in the late 70’s when he began working with Lee, Arvid, and Wayne, and quickly became a close friend who could always be relied upon for a helping hand.  Whether working a show, or hanging out with the guys during “off” time, his spirit and fun-loving nature made him a joy to be around.  Bart was a genuine guy who was never afraid to give his opinion or “tell it like it is” — a trait that endeared him to us.  We will miss him so much.

Services will be held at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home (9902 Braddock Road, Fairfax, VA, 22032) on Thursday July 24, 2014, open to all who wish to pay their respects. 12:00–1:00 PM visitation, followed by service at 1:00 PM.

Link to Bart’s obituary

Bart with a jackalope

Bart with a jackalope

Bart and Lee in Montana, May 1987

Bart and Lee in Montana, May 1987

Bart and Lee in Montana, May 1987

Bart and Lee in Montana, May 1987

Bart with AIS

Bart with AIS

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