Alvin Yellowhorse

   Just a few miles west of Gallup, NM., nestled amongst the canyons & hills of the small town of Lupton, AZ., lies the unassuming workshop of the young Navajo artist, ALVIN YELLOWHORSE. Alvin learned the silversmithing trade at an early age from his father, Frank Yellowhorse, & later mastered the techniques of cutting the small turquoise & other colorful stones into precise little pieces in which he assembles into intricate designs inspired by his Anasazi ancestors. This technique is called "Channel Inlay". A style of inlay where all the stones are cut & assembled together first & then ground flush before being highly polished. Alvin is credited for originating another style of inlay called "Corn Row Wave Inlay" in which the stones are individually cut & rounded over before setting them into a silver or gold bracelet, pendant, ring, or link bracelet. Corn Row Wave Inlay is much more time consuming as he has to completely finish each stone one at a time before placing them into the gold or silver setting. Alvin creates each piece one at a time.

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   There are no mass production techniques or assembly lines. His designs, although very contemporary, are enriched by the Zuni, Hopi, & Anasazi influences along with his own Navajo heritage. Alvin also receives inspiration from the ancient petroglyphs found along the canyon walls near his workshop. Alvin is forever amazing the jewelry & art galleries with new designs & techniques. Aside frombeing featured in several high-end galleries, Alvin was recognized by the Smithsonian Magazine in an article called "Tantalizing Turquoise" in their August 1999 issue, along with Art Book Arizona Magazine doing a profile on his life. Each year Alvin enters his jewelry into the Santa Fe Indian Market competition & has won several Blue Ribbons. His work can also be found at the annual Heard Museum competition in Phoenix, AZ.

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   Even though God blessed Alvin with the talent to form beautiful One-Of-A-Kind jewelry from raw materials & rough stones. He didn't stop there. He also blessed Alvin with a beautiful family. Shown in the photos below is Alvin & his daughters Brittany & Amanda. In the second photo below, Alvin & his daughters Holly & Brittany play in the snow. Photo number three shows Alvin looking & listening for inspiration on his next piece of jewelry below the canyon walls.

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You can see more of Alvin Yellowhorse's work at his website:


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