Steven Arviso

  • Navajo (Dine)
  • Jewelry

My History
1963, born in Gallup New Mexico as full blood Navajo. My family are from Iyanbito New Mexico which is 20 miles east from Gallup, in Navajo Reservation.
1980, I dropped out from High school and started work in town.
1980-1986, I joined the Army.
1986,I started working as truck driver. Through my work, I got to know Sunshine Reeves, he is known as traditional stamp jewelry. At the same time, I started helping my sister’s jewelry making. Through helping and looking other people’s jewelry, I started to make my own style.

Influence
Back then, Sunshine Reeves and his brothers, David Reeves, Gary Reeves and Darrell Cadman had studio in Albuquerque New Mexico, and I lived there so we used to hang out a lot.
Owner of Sunwest Silver, Ernie helped me a lot to spread my work. However, my work was totally different from my style now. I was making a lot of small jewelry, and to make my living, sometime I had to make 100-200 pcs a day. Harry Morgan, he was known as traditional Navajo Style jewelry. He used to come to Reeves Brothers Studio a lot. I became good friend with him and I learned a lot from him.

My Teacher, Harry Morgan
One day, I asked Harry Morgan” Can you teach me?” And his answer was, ” I can’t teach you but you can watch how I work.” I watched him and I leaned a lot of his technique. We hang around a lot. I used to drive for him for his sales trip, went to lots of yard sales and went to had apple pie. He shared a lot of story with me. He used say,” You need to make your name up before year of 2000.” Harry himself, never tried art shows but I started to going to art shows in 2008. I made horse bridal and I got my first “Blue Ribbon” in Gallup Inter-tribal Ceremonial. In 2011, silver price went up. In 1990’s, it was $6/oz but in 2011 it went up to $45/oz. Lots of silversmith couldn’t keep making jewelry after that. I don’t know Harry knew about it or not, because he passed away in 2011. But without his word, my jewelry and my work would be never known.

Sample of Work

Bisbee Cable Bracelet

Bisbee Cable Bracelet

3" x 2.5" x 3/4"

Jewelry

Morenci Ring

Morenci Ring

1-1/2" x 1/2" x 1-1/2"

Jewelry

Mediterranean Coral Bracelet

Mediterranean Coral Bracelet

3" x 2.5" x 1-1/2"

Jewelry