July’s Artist Spotlight focuses on a Navajo silversmith who has been creating since 1952 and doing business with Palms since 2002. It is our great pleasure to introduce you to sandcast extraordinaire, Eugene Mitchell.
Navajo silversmith Eugene Mitchell was born to Fitz and Jessie Mitchell on September 16, 1947. He began creating jewelry at the age of 5, helping his paternal uncle, John Joe, by working the bellows. Eugene, also a military veteran, is inspired by the old ways of traditional Navajo jewelry, and is most recognized for his cast work, which is predominately done in the sandcast method.
As a silversmith, Eugene prides himself in taking special care as to the placement and sizing of stones that decorate his sandcast work, so much so that he even made his own tools to gain better control of his stone cut designs. He often uses feathers and corn representations in his pieces, but the designs have changed over time to exhibit his own unique style.
Eugene’s accolades continue to accumulate as he better hones his craft, and he received First Place at the Steel Park Show in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2004. Whenever Eugene stops by with more of his incredible work, it’s always a pleasure to view his new patterns and watch his creative process continue to inspire him, and us. Eugene, and his work, are truly the definition of artistry.