Published on February 9, 2013 by Casey
Elegant, chiseled silverwork defines Ron Bedonie’s fine Navajo jewelry. His buckles, bracelets, bolas, and concha belts are distinguished by extraordinary stamping and chiseling — work that has earned him many first-prize ribbons over the years at the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial competition.
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“I pressured myself into getting finely chiseled lines because it was more of a challenge,” Bedonie says of his work.
In addition to jewelry, he also creates unusually shaped large and miniature containers, which are fashioned for practical use. His complex silver containers can be composed of as many as 18 individual pieces when they are completed.
Ron Bedonie began working with silver when he was 20 years old, having learned sliversmithing techniques from his parents, Lutricia Yellowhair and John Bedonie Sr. Initially, Ron learned soldering techniques, then went on to learn stamping from his cousin, Thomas Jim. Ron was inspired to make a container after seeing one of Jim’s pieces, and was encouraged to hone his skills by the Heard Museum and other established galleries.
Ron Bedonie makes his own stamps and chisels based on his sketches, and sometimes uses old car parts to create his tools. An talented, resourceful artist, Garland’s is proud to feature Ron Bedonie’s work.