Visit the Southwest Fusion of Tradition and Innovation in Art

You will never see such glorious baskets. (We promise.)

Encouraging and supporting this sort of fusion is our Twin Rocks passion!

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Navajo Gold & Silversmith Robert Taylor

We don’t usually think of Navajo jewelry as being made of gold.  But, by a few talented, and lucky, artists, it is.

The work is rare, it is unique, and, while sitting at Twin Rocks, Robert Taylor tells us how he makes amazing jewelry out of silver AND gold.

Get lucky, and hear it from a pro.

Old Style Navajo Concho Belt by John Yazzie

Georgiana Kennedy Simpson of Twin Rocks Trading Post of Bluff, UT describes this Navajo Concho Belt.

Geogiana (Jana) Simpson knows her stuff.  Her dad, about to turn 100 years old, is a trader who is still going strong in Gallup, NM., where Jana grew up.  Like the Navajo artists, she learned her trade while she was growing up.

Thank you, Jana, for beinging so many innovations to Twin Rocks, and recognizing beauty!

Leland Holiday, This Navajo Painter is a Pure Joy

Georgiana Kennedy Simpson from Twin Rocks Trading Post interviews Navajo Artist Leland Holiday.

Leland Holiday paints on boards.  They are bright, magical, and as soon as one comes in the door, out it goes!

We love Leland’s sense of color and play.

A Collage of Rare Navajo Indian Photos and Music

Díyín diné’é (The Holy People)

The Diné are ancient people with a multi-textured history and tradition. They believe they were created from Mother Earth and Father Sky. They are a part of the land, a part of their weaving, and a part of their Mother’s beauty.

And, every Indian nation has its unique story of catastrophic contact with the expanding European settlement of the continent.

The Cherokee, Choctaw, and Seminole nations walked a Trail of Tears in 1838 when forcibly removed from their homeland. Tens of thousands of Indigenous people have died in forced “relocations” and environmental desecration that drove them from their homes. General Carleton’s failed utopian agrarian experiment at Bosque Redondo with the Navajos during resettlement, like others, was a disaster.

Like the Cherokees and their “Trail of Tears,” the Navajo experienced their “Long Walk.”

The Navajos were taken from the protection of the four sacred mountains. Many say that the Navajo people ceased to perform many ceremonies during the time of their captivity at Fort Sumner. And, many remembered those four hard years of the “Long Walk” as an event with as much significance to the Navajos as the Civil War was for other Americans.

Twin Rocks is honored to learn from their resilient and humorous spirits and from the beauty they create.

The film uses artwork / firstpeople.us : “The Creation” – Richard Hook “A Navajo Wedding” – Alfredo Rodriguez Photo credit to: Harold Carey Jr. / navajo-arts.com, old-picture.com, Google.

When a Belt is more than a Belt!

Allison is an extraordinary Navajo artist who lives down near Albuquerque. He goes by his middle name, Snowhawk.

We are overjoyed when he visits, and are blown-away by his art and his technique.

Here he have Steve Simpson, of Twin Rocks, showing us this extraordinary, and one-of-a-kind, piece of wearable art.

Elegant and Seductive Navajo Pottery

Navajo Pottery is practical and beautiful, making a prize for a collector

Navajo Corn Yei Vase by Kenneth White

The Navajo have made pottery in the Southwest since their arrival here sometime around the 16th century.

But, because people have made pottery since about the beginning of time, it’s a pretty sure bet that they brought pottery with them during their migration. The Navajos made both plain and decorated pottery, and the plain is usually considered to be their old-style.

After the railroads arrived in the Southwest during the 1880’s, the Navajos began weaving more rugs and making less decorated pottery — the rugs were very popular with the travelers who journeyed through our countryside. (No surprise there.  They truly are unsurpassable.)

Today, there’s no need to push your way through a museum to see the old-style pottery. It is still popular today, and you can see fine examples of it at trading posts and galleries.  (At Twin Rocks, we like to consider our collection particularly terrific!)

Navajo pottery is often pear-shaped, conically bottomed, and colored in a reddish brown. It is serviceable and made waterproof by coating it with resin from pinon pine. (Put your nose to the rim and inhale — the smell still lingers, and it is heavenly.) Once the resin permeates the clay, the pot can be placed in hot coals with no loss of the resin or its sealing properties.

The decorations are simple beading or applique. If the pot has the clay beads or fillets, a space or spirit break is included. It might appear as if the potter forgot to include one fillet — no, it is a mystic and intentional part of the design.

Anasazi culture potshards are ground and used as a tempering agent. The pot is built by coiling, shaped by hand with a corn cob and fired in an open pit.  The Wedding Vase, and other styles of vases, are the most popular and they make unique gifts. Navajos also create large jars, but they’re rare — usually the pots are under 12 inches tall.

The love of Navajo pottery has recently surged, a happy event for all. Appliqued decorations include yucca plants, cactus, horned toads, animals, humans, and flowers. Collectors love them, and so do we!