Artist Spotlight: Ben Begay

Navajo silversmith Ben Begay


Working closely with Native American artists on a day to day basis is one of the great pleasures of our business. Even more rewarding is watching artists evolve over time, perfecting skills and designs, and creating new ones.  Navajo silversmith Ben Begay, this month’s Artist Spotlight, is a perfect example of the evolution of talent, having begun trading with us in the 1980s and continuing to this day.

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Posted: January 3, 2020 By:

Artist Spotlight: Kenneth and Irene White

Navajo potters Kenneth and Irene White


Navajo artists Kenneth and Irene White are a prime example of a unique backstory, having both begun their artistry as silversmiths, then taking up pottery making as a hobby.  Their recognizable style of pottery typically features imprints from stamping tools, as well as Yeibichai dancers, and we are thankful to both offer their pieces and call them friends.

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Posted: December 6, 2019 By:

Artist Spotlight: Torevia and Delbert Crespin

Torevia and Delbert Crespin


Working with and getting to know Native American artists is one of the most unique and fulfilling aspects of our business.  Some artists, such as this month’s artist spotlight pair, Torevia and Delbert Crespin, have worked with us from our humblest beginnings as a grocery store, and we are so thankful to have had the opportunity to form a long-lasting friendship with them over the years.

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Posted: November 1, 2019 By:

Techniques and Styles Associated with the Creation of Vintage and Contemporary Native American Jewelry

Palms Trading Company has been selling and trading in Native American & Vintage Native American Jewelry for over 75 years. As experts in Native American craft and jewelry we have become quite familiar with the different styles and techniques used to create these southwestern treasures.

Silverwork is a relatively new trade among Southwest Native Americans, taught to them by the Spanish and Mexicans in the 19th century. The Navajo were the first to learn silversmithing and subsequently developed the first recognizable style now associated with Native American jewelry of the southwest. Since then, distinctive styles and techniques of jewelry creation have emerged from the Zuni, Santo Domingo, and Hopi tribes, offering an expansive array of beautiful and masterfully executed jewelry.

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Posted: October 16, 2019 By:

Artist Spotlight: Robert Kasero

Laguna potter Robert Kasero


So many of the artists we work and come into contact with every day are exceptionally talented creators and painters. Fewer, however, are able to create the wonderfully intricate work that this month’s Artist Spotlight, Laguna potter Robert Kasero, does.

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Posted: October 4, 2019 By:

Horse Hair Pottery

Native American made horse hair pottery


Legend holds that horsehair pottery was discovered by a pueblo potter whose long hair blew against a piece of pottery she was removing from a hot kiln, stuck, and carbonized. The result was so interesting that she duplicated it with hair from a horse’s tail.

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Artist Spotlight: Jeanette Calabaza

Santo Domingo artist Jeanette Calabaza


Santo Domingo Pubelo, and, therefore, many of its current artists, are inescapably linked to what is known as “heishi,” the literal meaning of which is “shell” and which specifically refers to pieces of shell which have been drilled and ground into beads and strung into necklaces. It is safe to say that this is the oldest form of jewelry in New Mexico, and perhaps even in North America, pre-dating the introduction of metals. Jeanette Calabaza, this month’s featured artist, is a Santo Domingo jeweler proficient in the art of heishi.

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Posted: September 6, 2019 By:

The Jemez Pueblo Harvest Celebration

The Jemez Pueblo feast day celebrating Saint Persingula, the patron saint of the Pueblo, is held every year on August 2nd. While some rituals in most feast day celebrations are very private and secret, Palms’ owner, Guy Berger, has been invited to attend this feast several times as a guest of some of the artists we work with, and has provided  a first-hand account of his experiences. As there are strict regulations regarding photography of these events, we are unable to provide visuals.

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Posted: August 30, 2019 By:

The Mata Ortiz, Acoma Pueblo Connection: Similarities in Design

Native American Mata OrtizWritten by Palms Trading owner Guy Berger, today’s blog features a fascinating exercise in exploration and comparison of ancient and modern pottery styles and designs between Mata Ortiz and Acoma Pueblo. In his own words: “Paquime’ was an old village in northern Mexico that existed from the years 1200-1540 AD, very near the modern day village of Mata Ortiz. Acoma Pueblo sits 50 miles west of Albuquerque in New Mexico.  Exploring the Acoma Paula Estevan black and white eye dazzler seed potsometimes subtle, sometimes striking similarities between ancient Paquime’ pottery examples, modern Native American Pueblo pottery, and modern Mata Ortiz designs was a fascinating exercise for me.”

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Posted: August 23, 2019 By: