Handmade Navajo Figure Dancer Earrings


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Summer Dancer Earrings

Summer Dancer Earrings handmade by Navajo artist Arland Ben. This fabulous pair of earrings feature gem grade spiderweb kingman turquoise posts with a female and male dancer dangling. The stone measures 1/2 of an inch long by 1/2 of an inch wide. The total length of the earrings measures 2 1/2 inches long.

Kingman Turquoise

Kingman, Arizona is home to the famous Kingman Turquoise Mine. The city of Kingman itself predates Arizona’s statehood. When it was founded in 1882, there was little more than a railroad siding, a temporary store, a hotel and saloon. The Mineral Park Mine is home to the Kingman Turquoise Mine and was first discovered and mined by ancient Native American civilizations long before Europeans discovered the New World. It is one of the most important Arizona turquoise mines in existence.

Native American Artist: Arland Benarlandben

Navajo artist Arland Ben has worked with metal for nearly twenty years. In college, he studied art and experimented with various media: charcoal, watercolors, and clay. His brother-in-law introduced him to working with silver and showed him how to manipulate it.  Then Ben taught himself how to work with gold.

Ben draws his inspiration from everything and he bestows special honor on functional art. “Art is everywhere in the world,” he says.  As he sees it, we walk through art everyday. In contrast with many metal smiths, Ben always hand-cuts or overlays it. He also eschews templates and cuts out his shapes by memory.  “I draw the figure in my mind and move it around in a three dimensional space. Then, I hand-cut the figure into the metal,” says Ben.

Ben still considers simplicity the mark of a finished piece. He admits that creating overly elaborate work is a temptation of his craft, and that restraint is required to keep his designs simple.