Julian Lavoto: Kewa Silversmith December 03 2019
Julian Lovato, born in 1922, was born on the Santo Domingo (Kewa) Pueblo. Both Lovato’s parents were expert heishi bead makers and jewelers, he learned the traditional Kewa techniques as a young man from them. After his time in the military he took his education to the next level, working under tutelage of famed Italian silversmith Frank Patania Sr., apprenticing at the Thunderbird Shop in Santa Fe. During his time there, he honed his skills of working with silver and gold and he quickly became one of the master pueblo craftsman of the 20th century.
His jewelry is best known for the high quality of turquoise and coral he selected for each piece. This quality and his exceptional silversmithing made Lovato a renowned artist. He merged his traditional designs with the modern esthetic favored by Patania Sr., blending it into what Lovato called "raised, dimensional jewelry design". Lovato eventually moved on and opened his own shop, but continued to use the Patania Studio thunderbird hallmark even after he left.
Lovato passed away in 2018, his body of work has placed him in the top tier of Native silversmiths of the 20th Century including the likes of Mark Chee, Charles Loloma, Joseph Quintana, and Kenneth Begay.
We currently have a ring made by Julian Lovato available for purchase.