Vernon Haskie is a highly regarded Navajo jeweler from Lukachukai, Arizona. He first learned silver-smithing from his father, Leonard Haskie, who made and sold jewelry. This sparked Vernon’s interest in the craft, and he soon created his first pendant at age nine. Vernon went to Navajo Community College where he earned an associate degree in life sciences, and he also attended University of New Mexico where he graduated in 1996 with a major in biology. He took only one art class in painting, and surprisingly, he has never taken any metal classes. “Only practice, trial and errors, conversations with others, they let out a secret. Essentially, I figured out how to do it,” he said in an interview. Vernon created jewelry as a hobby for years until it became a full-time career in 1998. It didn't take long for his jewelry to thrive.
Vernon’s jewelry has a stunning signature look, featuring multidimensional inlay, natural turquoise, and coral. Vernon also sometimes incorporates traditional designs such as cornstalk, the turtle, or corn. Each material and design, he believes, holds a different story. He describes his jewelry as inspired by the natural beauty of Navajo land. Vernon recognizes the need for balance after taking materials from the Earth for his jewelry, and he often holds ceremonies to give back and be in harmony with Mother Earth.
Vernon’s wide range of silver and gold jewelry has won numerous top awards at major Native arts shows, including Santa Fe Indian Market and Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market. His pieces have been exhibited and collected by many galleries, private collections, and museums, including Phoenix’s Heard Museum, Museum of Northern Arizona, and Pueblo Grande Museum.