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Cippy Crazy Horse

Born Cipriano Quintana to renowned jewelers Terecita and Joe H. Quintana, Cippy CrazyHorse has carried on the classic traditional Pueblo design his parents started.  To these classic designs, CrazyHorse brings his personal style.  The bold, deep stamp and chisel designs on thick gauge silver are his trademark.  Much of the thick gauge silver comes from melting scrap silver into ingots – a process the “old timers” incorporated.  CrazyHorse says of his work, “There are traditional classic styles in silver jewelry, the Navajo and the Pueblo , and I do the latter; from cuff bracelets to concho belts, ranger set buckles and bead necklaces.”  

Following high school, CrazyHorse attended Eastern New Mexico University in Portales for two and a half years and then served in the US Navy until 1972. Upon returning home to Cochiti, CrazyHorse worked as an electrician’s assistant on the construction of Cochiti Dam, but an injury in 1974 curtailed that line of work.  According to CrazyHorse, the injury “forced his hand at silversmithing.”  He started with the smaller tasks of making silver chains and gradually taught himself the old style of silversmithing.  With much support and encouragement from his father and his wife, Susan, his silversmithing began earnestly.  CrazyHorse has received much recognition for his work, having garnered his share of ribbons at the Southwestern Association of Indian Arts Indian Market in Santa Fe over the course of the past 35 years. He is considered a “Master Silversmith” and his work is numerous collections and books on Native American jewelry.

In the August, 2008 issue of The Santa Fean, Cippy was featured as one of “Seven Standouts” of Indian Market. He has been featured in many other newspaper and magazine articles over the years, and in several museum and private exhibitions throughout the country.  His work is highly sought after in Japan , where his classic designs are admired as well as his dedication to a traditional lifestyle at Cochiti Pueblo.  Cippy and his work are featured in the “Artists – Handmade” section of the April 2011 issue of the Japanese (American Western Culture) magazine, “Free and Easy”.  

Cippy has also been a Jewelry Judge at SWAIA Indian Market a number of times, where his unique sense of humor certainly enlivens the proceedings.

 In 1990, along with Yazzie Johnson, he curated the jewelry exhibit Steady Hands, White Metal at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe .  CrazyHorse says of his work, “When I am making something, I hope I can inspire someone somewhere to admire the simplicity of the beauty in one of my pieces.  I have won awards and ribbons, but when I see or hear the appreciation and happiness my work brings to those who have pieces, it makes me want to do more.”