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!