Navajo artist, Raynard J. Taa’itsohii Scott, was born on September 3, 1965 in Los Angeles, California. He is of the kin Yaa’aanii (Towering House People) Clan, and born for the Dzil tl’ahnii (Mountain Recess People) Clan. He is the eldest of four boys and two girls. Although raised primarily in urban areas, it was important for Ray and his siblings to be taught traditional Dine (Navajo) values and beliefs.
“One of the most important [beliefs] is that of reciprocity. In this sense I take great care and have the utmost respect for my creations, or my ‘children,’ as they also take care of my family and me. I talk to my ‘children’ and pray as I work with them. Each of these creations has a part of myself in it, and as a result of breathing life into each one, it has a character and soul all its own,” said Ray. Ray’s parents initiated his jewelry-making training at the early age of seven. Ray also acknowledges artists Raymond Yazzie, Boyd Tsosie, and Charles Supplee as prominent figures and inspiration in his life as he learned the ways of jewelry making.
“It is difficult to label a ‘style’ of work that I do. I can only describe it as contemporary, layered sculptures. I like building up layers of contrasting textures and designs. The more intricate design or the further from the norm I get, the more enthusiastic I am about working. I also enjoy researching and reading about ancient arts and civilizations. Among my favorites are those of Ancient Egypt, Greek, and classical periods, such as the Renaissance and Victorian eras.”
Ray’s pieces have won many awards at several shows, including the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum Guild Fair, Red Earth, Eight Northern Pueblos Show, and the Gallup Ceremonial. His work is also included in museums and private collections both nationally and internationally.
“It is my wish that each of my creations find a good home: that the person who acquires it will appreciate and have as much happiness wearing it as I did creating it.”