Roy Talahaftewa, was born on the Hopi reservation in 1955 in the Second Mesa village of Shungopvi and is a member of the Young Corn clan. He attended the Institute of American Indian Art in San Francisco where he enjoyed spending his free time observing the great American sculptor, Alan Houser.
Within a few years, Talahaftewa was creating jewelry full time and won the coveted “Best of Show” at the Indian Art Market in Santa Fe, NM. He has garnered numerous awards at the annual Intertribal Ceremonial in Gallup, NM and is featured in Southwest Indian Jewelry. Roy has developed a style beyond the traditional Hopi overlay method and combines 14K gold and sterling silver and a variety of gemstones, preferring red and pink coral, lapis, natural turquoise and opals for his contemporary pieces.
To ensure the finest in design and craftsmanship, Roy only produces between 30 to 40 pieces a year. Talahaftewa takes pride in making highly individualized jewelry. He says of his work, “Everything I do is one-of-a-kind. I freehand draw. I don’t use patterns or templates. When it’s done, it’s done. I wold rather have my customers feel that they do have a one-of-a-kind piece.” Talahaftewa also comines overlay with tufa casting and adds inlay work.