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Mary Tafoya - Santo Domingo

Background of Mary Tafoya

Mary L. Tafoya, born Mary Coriz, is one of 11 children.  Mary learned Native American jewelry making techniques from her father with influence from her mother.  She works from sketches and soon she creates her collector's pieces.  Her unique approach in jewelry design is similar to a painter's technique.  Mary draws from nature and the earth and she's wonderful at capturing color, motion, and form. 

View our collection of Mary Tafoya Jewelry.

The Artwork of Mary Tafoya

Mary Tafoya is known for her contemporary take on the ancient art of mosaic inlay, creating pictures with the stones and shells that she crafts in the traditional manner.  Her unique pieces are like small paintings, incorporating vibrant, contrasting colors of her natural materials, and utilizing the natural shapes of shells.  She works with inlaid stones, and her exuberant pieces in turquoise and jet and mother-of-pearl are already widely copied. 

A Few Words from Mary Tafoya

Growing up in a traditional family in Santo Domingo Pueblo, the last thing on my mind was that, my art would allow me to travel to a great part of the United States, much less have my jewelry designs in demand at galleries and art shows!

My jewelry has evolved from traditional Santo Domingo turquoise “heishi” and “Depression Era” work to a modern, contemporary, mosaic, multi-colored inlay jewelry, that is versatile for formal and casual wear. Using natural stones, shells, and turquoise, my designs are free form inlay where no two pieces are alike as each stone, shell, or turquoise is cut to fit right out of my memory.

I currently live on the Santo Domingo Pueblo with my husband, Lorenzo (also a jeweler/metal smith) and our four children. We love showing people our studio as it gives them a perspective of the work and a deeper appreciation of it.  -- by Mary Tafoya.

View our collection of Mary Tafoya Jewelry.



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