In 1956, Alvin and Lula Begay were both born into artistic families in Winslow, Arizona. They have worked as a silversmithing team since 1991, each serving their own role; Alvin works on the overall composition and construction of the piece, while Lula works on the setting/cutting of the stones as well as the polishing and final touches.
The dynamic pair is known to not use any pre-made findings, everything outside of earring posts are handcrafted. Alvin is especially known for using his techniques of double and triple overlay, reversible necklaces, shadowboxes, and engraving--often all on the same piece!
While still very adept in the art of jewelry-making, Alvin’s first love is bareback riding in rodeos. He grew up in a traditional Navajo life style on the reservation and is a natural athlete and cowboy. He has competed for 10 years, winning championships in 1987 and 1989. Although Alvin is a very humble and unassuming individual, he is one on AIRCA’s top award winners. Awards in jewelry-making are also no stranger to Alvin; among several awards, he has won first with a necklace in a competition in Dallas, Texas.
The striking designs of Alvin and Lula’s work reflects a strong discipline and great attention to detail. Both their activities of rodeo and jewelry making are demanding and require the utmost skill. Their work is a reflection of this discipline and freedom of creating.
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