“Our calling it is to create beautiful jewelry and bring joy to people.” –Darry Dean & Rebecca Begay
Darryl Dean and Rebecca Begay are Navajo artists who collaborate on jewelry designs and fabrication using traditional techniques inspired by contemporary life. Their Navajo culture has a powerful influence on their jewelry, telling stories that allow ancient ceremonies and chants to live on. “As an Indigenous people, we are still holding on to our language and culture,” Darryl Dean offered.
Each artist brings a unique skill to the jewelry making process. Darryl Dean is adept at stonework and is one of the few true masters at tufa casting. Rebecca applies her design sense and delicate hand to floral carving, incorporating the natural tufa stone texture into their work.
“We don’t mass produce,” Darryl Dean says of their meticulous methods. “The thing with us is that making jewelry is more of an art form. We create each piece from start to finish.”
Darryl Dean and Rebecca won the Best of Show award at the 2009 Santa Fe Indian Market. They work chiefly with high-grade turquoise and silver, though also use coral and other gemstones, and work in 18-karat gold as well.