"It just came naturally to me … soldering was just like I was born to it.” — Jeanette Dale
A contemporary Navajo artist, Jeanette Dale learned silversmithing from her mother but developed a traditional style all her own.
Jeanette's pieces are recognizable for her distinctive combination of silverwork and beautiful natural stones. Preferring the traditional Navajo style with heavy, deep stamping and high polishes, she still follows her first employer's advice: to leave a mark to show the jewelry was handmade.
In 1973 Jeanette was working at the Fairchild Electronics Plant in Shiprock cutting out computer chips with a diamond saw. She was the fastest cutter at the plant with the best quality work. The plant shut down that year and she lost her job. She then made the decision to become a silversmith.
"It just came naturally to me," she says. "Soldering was just like I was born to it. I showed my first ring to a dealer and he hired me to make jewelry for him."
After nearly 40 years of jewelry making, Jeanette doesn't have to convince anyone to buy her jewelry. She has won top awards at the Gallup Intertribal ceremonial and her work is sought after by the top collectors in the world.