Fred Peshlakai

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My first introduction to the work of Fred Peshlakai overwhelmed me.  He was able to take the traditional art of Native American Silversmithing to a new level.   Though other Silversmiths have been good, Fred was able to create designs and work with silver that  inspired generations of  artists and the direction of the art form.  Fred practiced the old art of making his own stamps and using those for complex design work in his silver. He never settled for the simple “Snakes and Arrows” forms created for the tourist market.  He reflected his culture and experience in his work.   His time spent in California introduced him to new design elements from Mexico and that influence can be seen in his stamps and design compositions.  This makes his work distinctive, personal, and artistic so that it stands apart from other examples of Navajo Silversmithing during his era.  I am honored to be inspired by such a great master.

Art Tafoya, Silversmith