Mark Roanhorse Crawford
Mark Roanhorse Crawford was born in 1985 into the Tábąąhi clan (Water’s edge people) and for the Kinyaa’áanii clan (The Towering House people.) Mark’s Parents are Georgia and Eugene Crawford. They are from the slopes of the Chaska Mountains of New Mexico, of the Navajo Nation. Mark is named after his grandfather who was one of the original First Twenty-Nine Navajo Code Talkers of World War II.
He learned silversmithing by watching and helping his older brothers Duane and Michael make their jewelry while still a boy. He is featured, with his brother Michael, in the book Silver + Stone: Profiles of American Indian Jewelers.
The youngest component of a noted jewelry dynasty, Mark is a prize-winning silversmith. His style is contemporary with traditional elements and inspiration; "transitional traditional", as he calls it. He combines abstract motifs and textures, gold and silver, with high quality stones and contemporary finishes.
Mark Roanhorse learned the Art of Tufa Stone Casting from his family. At age nine, he observed from his father Eugene and older brother Duane how this complex technique molded extraordinary traditional pieces of jewelry. After he learned the traditional techniques and style of jewelry crafting, Mark explored contemporary jewelry making and has succeeded in creating his own unique style of jewelry.
Mark was raised on the Navajo Nation and received constant support from his family. It was the summer years that he spent with his grandparents that he lived and learned the traditional ways of herding and grazing livestock. His knowledge of the Diné (Navajo) culture, his heritage and family traditions grew from these long summer days. It is without doubt that his grandparents were a great influence on him and in turn, in his artwork.
Most importantly, Mark Roanhorse has learned to be humble and live in harmony with Mother Earth. Knowing the creation story and where he came from has enabled him to preserve his culture though his jewelry.