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“Telling people I wanted to study art was like saying that I wanted to starve to death,” the tall Farmington, New Mexico, artist chuckles. His name, “White Buffalo,” comes from a Lakota word, meaning articulate and open. Raised in Shiprock on the Navajo reservation, White Buffalo is of Mexican and Comanche heritage.
Creating jewelry and sculpting comes naturally to him. “It is not difficult to interface your creative needs with what happens in your life,” he says. As for his style, he says he doesn’t have one. “I don’t do the same piece over and over. That is why I create only about 15 pieces a year. I am fascinated with things that move. I want to bring more life into my work. I feel like the study of design is essential, see how the piece moves. “
He was an engineer for 10 years, but sculpting is his real love. “You see, I had a dream, two years ago...a guy was chasing me, he had silver hair, face and feathers. I got up in the middle of the night to capture him on paper. It was one of those pieces that really just came together.” He gestures towards the large silver sculpture of an Indian bust that was a result of that vision.
While he emphasizes that he is always looking for something new, his jewelry has an ancient ‘King Tut’ look. Questioned about this, he grins, “I grew up on the backside of Mesa Verde. the Anasazis fascinate me the most. Every time I see a ruin it is like something alive left from long ago.” He looks down for a moment then says, “The message I want to express is ‘life’.”