Marvin and Lillie Lovato, a husband and wife team, carve intricate
heishi beads out of turquoise and shell. They have been working with
Silver sun for 31 years.
They each learned to make heishi from their parents.Lillie's parents
specialized in small, thin beads and when they were married they taught
each other how you make the different styling.
They that their favorite part of the job is designing jewlery and
trying new materials. Attention to both beauty and quality has earned
them blue and red ribbions at the New Mexico State Fair and Santa Fe
Indian Market. "Where trying to make something contemporary and still
conform to the framework of our traditional ways," Marvin says. "Their
is an idea behind everything" For example, turquoise means life. In my
necklaces with turquoise, that piece is like life."
Marvin and Lillie raise their 5 older children traditionaaly, but
only a daughter is getting into the craft. Marvin and Lillie work out
of thier home in the Santa Domingo Pueblo in northern New Mexico.
Marvin is also very active in the Santa Domingo Trible Council. In
their spare time, Marvin enjoys farming corn, chili, and other
vegetables, and let's not for get bowling. Lillie teaches canvas
crafting to the elders and traditional food making to the women and
girls of her tride.