Norbert Peshlakai, Navajo, b. 1953
Norbert Peshlakai was born in the summer of 1953 in Fort Defiance, Arizona. As a lean track runner at Haskell Indian Junior College, Norbert stumbled upon a college jewelry class to meet credit criteria. In order to pass the class, Norbert's instructor assigned him six pieces of jewelry to complete. Norbert found his hidden jewelry talent fulfilling this class requirement. The rest, as they say, is history. Norbert has been creating silver pots, bracelets, buckles, and pendants since the 1970's. Many of his pieces tell stories in original imagery, and he is credited with creating a new form, silver pots and jars shaped like pottery. He describes his more current work as sort of bumpy and rough, not a high polished look, but something more unfinished and earthy. Peshlakai is the Navajo word for silversmith.