Don Platero, Diné of the Navajo Nation Silversmith
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Award winning artist Don Platero creates both contemporary and traditional designs in silver jewelry and silverware. Don uses the high-quality sterling silver, beautiful turquoise and a variety of learned techniques to frequently create. This artform use to be very popular and is one of the earliest forms of Navajo silversmithing.
It’s interesting that his last name "Platero" means "silversmith" in Spanish. This might suggest that this award winning third-generation jeweler's artistic roots might very well extend beyond his grandparents' time to the era of Spanish occupation of New Mexico. The appropriateness of the surname is seen in every meticulous detail of Don Platero’s silverwork.
The winner of numerous awards, including a first-place ribbon at the Gallup Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial, Don Platero has been working as a silversmith since he was ten years old. He learned the craft from his father, Dan Platero. During school summers, his father would encourage him to assist in polishing and finishing pieces. Don would ask him questions of different techniques that were used from school and techniques that he had never seen before while ‘secretly’ working on his own work. During his sophomore year in high school there was a class with a last slot for the “Navajo Silversmith” course. Fortunately, the slot became his. During high school he entered the Gallup Indian Ceremonial and that brought the first 1st place ribbon and cash award. This was the first of many awards.
Biographical Information Source: Bischoff's Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ.