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Born Cipriano Quintana to renowned jewelers Terecita and Joe H. Quintana, Cippy Crazy Horse has carried on the classic traditional Pueblo designs his parents started. To these classic designs, Crazy Horse brings his personal style. The bold, deep stamp and chisel designs on this gauge silver are his trademark. Much of the thick gauge silver comes from melting scrap silver into ingots - a process the “old timers” incorporated. Crazyhorse says of his work, “There are two traditional classic styles in silver jewelry, the Navajo and the Pueblo, and I do the latter; from cuff bracelets to concha belts, ranger sets, buckles and bead necklaces.”
Following high school, Crazyhorse attended Eastern New Mexico University in Portales for 2 and a half years and then served in the US Navy until 1972. Upon returning home to Cochiti, Crazyhorse worked as an electrician’s assistant on the construction of Cochiti Dam, but an injury in 1974 curtailed that line of work. According to Crazyhorse, the injury “forced his hand at silversmithing.” He started with the smaller tasks of making silver chains and gradually taught himself the old style of silversmithing. With much support and encouragement from his father and wife, Susan, his silversmithing began earnestly.
Crazy Horse has received much recognition for his work. He says of his work, “When I am making something, I hope I can inspire someone somewhere to admire the simplicity of the beauty in one of my pieces. I have won awards and ribbons, but when I see or hear the appreciation and happiness my work brings to those who have pieces, it makes me want to do more.”
From “The Cutting Edge”, by Diana Purdue