Published on July 23, 2014 by Carol
Bennie Ration Is a Navajo Silversmith from central New Mexico. His distinct style of Indian Jewelry is recognized the world over. Bennie is considered by many as one of the greatest contemporary Indian jewelry silversmiths of our time. His Native American Indian jewelry work is coveted by collectors and enthusiasts alike.
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Bennie Ration was born March 21, 1955, on the Canoncito Navajo reservation in New Mexico, to Frances and John Ration. His father, who had been a silversmith since childhood, taught Bennie the art of silversmithing at the young age of eleven. His father told him that no matter what else he did with his life he would always have silversmithing to fall back on. Throughout his childhood, Bennie was a talented artist. After he graduated from high school he enrolled in a one-year program at U.S. Silkscreen and Graphics School in Scottsdale, Arizona. Upon completion of the course he worked for three years as a silk screener and graphic designer. In 1978 he did fall back on the art of silversmithing. With a look and style that he had developed as a graphic designer, he began making three-dimensional figures in silver. His many wearable art designs include Kachina figures, Southwestern animals, feathers and Navajo inspired geometric patterns. When asked how he comes up with his designs he says, “I remember what I see and make pieces in my mind.”