Wesley Craig AKA Wes Craig, Navajo Jeweler

Navajo artist Wesley Craig, born 1959 in Gallup, New Mexico, has been actively making jewelry since 1974. Son of Robert Etsitty Craig Jr. and Marie Craig, he was taught his craft by his mother Marie.

His hallmark is usually Wes Craig in script inside a feather but he also has used WC. Often he adds IHMSS – Indian Hand Made Sterling Silver.

Sometimes the Running Bear shop mark (RB inside a bear) is also included which would indicate he made the item at Running Bear Trading Co in Gallup, New Mexico.

His brother, Hyson Craig, is also a notable Navajo jeweler.

Paula

Restringing a Squash Blossom Necklace

When this arrived in a recent estate lot, I went eeek ! and then promptly contacted our favorite repair shop. Although we can make minor repairs and alterations here at our store, we leave something like this to a professional that has experience with Native American jewelry.

A jumble of beads and a broken wire – I wonder if everything is here to make a necklace again??!!

The 14 mm handmade beads are stamped on both side and so are the blossoms – quite rare !

As usual Old Town did their magic – straightening any bent blossom petals, balancing all the beads beautifully, making a new hook and eye closure….resulting in a treasure of a necklace.

The repair shop we use…….
Contact Diane Radeke at
Old Town Trading Co. / Jewels of the West
4009 N. Brown Ave.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
602-350-4009
info@oldtownjewels.com

See this related article

Shortening a Squash Blossom Necklace for Paula

Paula

Unique Claw Bracelet

This 146 gram claw bracelet has a very unique design.  It is new old stock (NOS) from a store that closed about 10 years ago. Other than that, I have no information on its age but based on the rest of the inventory of that store, I would guess 1980 to 2000 or thereabouts.

It is hallmarked STERLING and TN

According to hallmark references, it seems like that could be the hallmark of Navajo artist, Tammy Nelson. It does seem consistent with Navajo style.

Does anyone recognize this work or hallmark?

Hallmark: STERLING TN

Turquoise cabochon set in the claws on the sides

Handmade, stamped sterling silver fetish bear on each side

Heavy three wire frame

Will fit approximately a 7″ wrist

Onyx cabochon is 1 1/2″ x 1 1/8″

Paula

 

Necklace Extenders

What a difference a necklace extender makes.  Each necklace has its own perfect resting spot and for each person and shirt and/or neckline, the perfect spot will be different.

First I put on this necklace with the original length provided by its chain.

Inlay pendant hallmarked JM

But this results in a distracting shirt button plus the wonderful sterling silver feathers on the side were hidden under the collar.

By adding about 2″ with a necklace extender, I was able to drop the necklace into its ideal position.

Necklace with extender

Sterling Silver Necklace Extenders

Paula

 

Beautiful Beadwork by Navajo artist Alyce Johnson

Alyce Johnson makes some wonderful beaded bracelets.

Alyce’s stitch work is very fine – this ensures your bracelet will hold together for years.

The leather backing is comfortable and the interior of the bracelet is copper, which is sturdy to hold the shape yet flexible to make the bracelet adjustable

Available from large adult to baby, what more could you ask for !  Alyce is the wife of Navajo silversmith extraordinaire Peterson Johnson.

Paula

I can’t find the artist “Bennett” anywhere – who made my bolo tie?

 

Hi Paula,

I have looked everywhere on line and in books and I can’t find any information on at artist, perhaps Bennett Pat or Pat Bennett whose name is on the back of my bolo tie. Can you help?

Ron

Well without a photo Ron, I’m guessing what you are seeing is something like this

BENNET PAT. PEND.

OR

BENNETT PAT. PEND. C-31

stamped on the locking slide on the back of your bolo…yes?

BENNETT PAT. PEND.

If so, that refers to a person who designed and manufactured the first locking bolo slide clip about the mid 1950s and the slides carried this stamp

BENNETT PAT. PEND. C-31

Although the above indicates that a patent had been applied for, there is no patent registered according to anything I  have read.

In the mid 1960s the C-31 disappeared and the stamp was simply

BENNET PAT. PEND.

It is my opinion and experience that soon thereafter, others began copying the clasp so the copy-cats didn’t add the BENNETT name on it. We refer to unmarked clasps as “Bennett-style” clasps.  I’ve seen unmarked locking clasps on bolos made from the 1960s through til today.

An unmarked Bennett-style locking clasp

The marking on your bolo slide might be a partial stamp that made you think it said “BENNETT PAT”.

You should look carefully all over the back of the bolo itself (not the slide) for any kind of marks – often these are quite light as they are sometimes done with an engraver. That information plus a photo of the front of the bolo would be helpful in determining the origin, and perhaps the artist who made your bolo.

Best of luck, Paula

Screw Back Earrings

According to Warman’s Antique Jewelry, screw back earrings date from 1909 and although still used, they are not common on new pieces.

 

Screw Back Earrings

Vintage Sterling Silver and Turquoise Screw Back Earrings

Paula