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Andy Lee Kirk
ISLETA AND NAVAJO SILVERSMITH (1947 - 2001)

Andy Lee Kirk was a Master jeweler and a inspiration to everyone in Indian arts until his untimely death at the age of 54. He actually tried very hard not to be jeweler, earning a degree in biology at the University of New Mexico, and working for the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the Forest Service. But the artist's call was stronger than that of his other interests, and eventually Andy became a full-time jeweler.

Influenced by the late Hopi artist Charles Loloma and Navajo jeweler Gibson Nez, Kirk was versatile and prolific. He did his own lapidary work, including rolling his own beads, and mastered all types of precious metalwork including lost wax and sandcast techniques, stamping, engraving, overlay and fabrication. He taught these techniques to his daughter Melanie, as well as his brother Michael.

When asked where he got the ideas for his jewelry styles, he said "From my Indian heritage…what I see all around me. I have a hundred and fifty more ideas in mind. They are yet to come."

Kirk was awarded the IACA Artist of the Year in 1996 and won many awards at the SWIA Indian Market in Santa Fe, NM, including First and Best in Division.