Jennifer Curtis > Artists > Jennifer Curtis

Born and raised on the Navajo Reservation in Keams Canyon, Jennifer’s silversmithing
inspiration comes from her family and the land. “The rug designs I etch come from my
grandmothers weavings. Other symbols are inspired by the landscape I grew up with:
the clouds and canyons.” Jennifer began as an apprentice to her father-buffing and
polishing the bracelets and concho belts of Thomas Curtis, the renowned Navajo
craftsman. Another creative influence on her jewelry was her uncle, Billy Betoney.

When Jennifer began to make her own pieces, she explored beyond the heavy
stamped style of her father. “I learn most from my mistakes,” she says. “They open
me up to new ideas, new possibilities.”

Her innovations have garnered numerous awards since 1994, when she first entered
her pieces in the prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market. She has won First Place in
Squash Blossom, earrings, pins, miniature etched pots, and an unusual 10″ octagonal
etched plate. She has also won ribbons for concho belts, ranger sets, and a Second
Place ribbon for a square-wire bracelet set with coral. “If you want to be recognized,
you must do the job right” Jennifer says quietly. “What my work represents is what I
want someone to see in me-that I care about what I make.”

Jennifer’s love for her work is strengthened by the .bond she feels with her materials.
“All the elements I work with-the silver and the stones-come from Mother Earth.”
Whether her hands are shaping a traditional-style concho, or painstakingly etching a
contemporary-style bracelet, Jennifer infuses each piece with her own individuality
and the timeless quality of excellence. Jennifer reaches out with her work, bridging
the old with the new. “I want my work to be as a good handshake.”

Find Jennifer’s work here.