Tuesday, October 30, 2012


According to Smith’s family, he and his wife were in town buying supplies for his silver jewelry-making business when they stopped at the Subway to eat before heading back to their home in Grants.
That is when a blue Dodge pickup drove through the parking lot and hit Smith’s truck. An eyewitness told KOB that Smith went out to confront the driver, but that the driver and two others in the truck just laughed. Then they drove off and Smith jumped onto the truck's hood. The driver swerved to get Smith off the truck. Smith did fall and was found critically injured on Claremont Street. He later died at University of New Mexico Hospital.

A few Christmases ago, my most generous Indian mother gifted us all with her collection of Native American jewelry.
It was such fun, everyone drew a number, as in a lottery and she had it all laid out for easy viewing and reach.  She let the grandchildren go first and then her children.  One by one, politely waiting our turn, we selected the pieces that we loved and most of all reminded us of her.  It was truly an unforgettable gift and day.  You have never seen so many girls full of joy!  And the great thing?  We all share our jewelry with each other if and when we need to.

The first thing I chose was a Kirk Smith cuff.  My mom wears it in her photo of her in her regalia dress.

From time to time I browse around google/eBay to see if I might happen to luck into a seller who might not be aware of the value of what they have.  Yesterday, I came upon some very very sad news.

Mr. Smith is gone.

He was Navajo and lived in New Mexico near the reservation.  After years of perfecting his style he became an acclaimed artist by consistently creating investment quality old pawn style jewelry.  Heavy, detailed, with top quality stones.  

I feel so fortunate to own some of his signed work and I know all the rest of the girls do too!  It causes me great sadness to realize an artist is gone is such a tragic way.

Rest in Peace

Kirk Smith Designs

Kirk Smith is simply one of the very best in his field. Kirk Smith was a student and former brother-in-law of the late master silversmith Harry Morgan. Kirk Smith's work is considered collector and investment quality and every Native American jewelry collection should include a Kirk Smith bracelet!


StagerLinda said...

What a sad tragedy. He was a wonderful artisan. You are fortunate to own some of this pieces.

Lo veo y me gusta said...

Es una triste noticia, pero es verdad que tu poses una muestra de su trabajo que eso sí paermanecerá a lo largo del tiempo.

Rustic Vintage Country said...

What a sad thing to happen! The art pieces you have though are so beautiful! Suzy x

Karen said...

What a really tragic tale but how special for you to own such a beautiful cuff. Your mother's gift was so lovely.

sparklegem said...

This is very sad news. Although I am not familiar with Mr. Smith's work I can see what an amazing artist he was. Your mother really left you something special.


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Gina:
This is such sad news. Kirk was obviously an extremely talented craftsman and artist, what a needless waste of life this appalling event has resulted in.

You are fortunate to have such lovely pieces to remember this talented man and your mother by. We are sure that you will treasure them all your days.

It's All Connected said...

What a senseless tragedy. He leaves a grand legacy of art pieces and how lucky you are to have a piece that has the extra value in having belonged to your mom! ~ Maureen

A Perfect Gray said...

such a bittersweet story. such joy in the story of your heirloom pieces, handed down, and such sorry in the loss of this great artist. you're lucky, indeed, to have some of his pieces. they are lovely. donna

Heather @ new house, new home, new life said...

How sad to lose such a talented artist. I'm sure that every time you wear one of his pieces, you will remember him fondly.

carolyn bradford said...

I see why you treasure your piece! His work is incredible! What a sad thing to lose someone like that in such a tragic way! I'm glad you have your piece to hold on to, though!

bj said...

I didn't know this artist but we spent several months on the Navajo reservation at Tuba City, AZ while my hubs worked there.
We collected some wonderful jewelry..most of which I've given to daughter and grands. I have quite a bit left and the idea of doing what your mom did about hers is a GREAT idea. I just may do the same some Christmas soon.