Hopi silversmith Jason Takala attended high school in Woodstock, Vermont, but the walls of his dorm were bare.To spice things up, he painted a mural depicting a landscape cut by a waterfall. Then he attached a frame around it.When school officials saw the work, they were floored by its beauty and promptly added art classes to Takala’s schedule.This was his first real attempt at painting.
He portrays himself as almost a passive participant in the creation of his popular pieces. “I take my direction from the silver,” says the Holbrook resident and father of five. “In a sense, it talks to me.”
In the 1980”s he moved to Old Oraibi on the Hopi reservation, where his wife, Margie, had grown up. “After that I really started creating,” he says. Everything is so calm there, your mind goes to a different level. It all came to me then.”
Takala is known for his man-in-the-maze design which represents man emerging from the center of the Earth and migrating to the four directions. All his intricate cutting is done by hand.
His son, Jason Takala Jr., is now following in his father's footsteps as a silversmith.