Native American Artists: Jewelers « back to artist list
Bruce Hodgins, Silver-Goldsmith
L. Bruce Hodgins was born in Flagstaff in 1959 to a full-blooded Navajo mother and an Anglo father. In those days, it was a long ride while in labor from Hotevilla to the little Flagstaff hospital, approximately 125 miles away. Bruce's mother is Mary Hunt Dodge Hodgins from the Toadlena / Crystal area of New Mexico. Bruce's father is of Irish, English, Scottish descent and worked as and educator all his life on Southwestern reservations, starting with the Walapai in the 1940s and retiring after 25 years at Hopi in 1982.
As a toddler, Bruce was drawn to the remote reservation terrain that was his home at Second Mesa where his father was day school principal. A fence around the family home on the school compound was soon erected to keep the 2-year old from wandering off too far when his mother was tending to his younger brother David. Bruce was introduced to hunting and fishing at an early age and continues those activities to this day.
As a young adult, Bruce studied with Sidney Secakuku, Jr., and learned to make overlay jewelry in true Hopi fashion. As his studies continued in jewelry making and biology at Northern Arizona University, Bruce added traditional Navajo styles later working into contemporary pieces that incorporate both Hopi and Navajo characteristics.
Today Bruce has evolved into a master silversmith. He is said to build "a Cadillac" in Indian jewelry using heavy gauge silver and exotic stones. Bruce presents his work in fine venues, which include Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, Santa Fe Indian Market in New Mexico, 8 Northern in Espanola, Heard Museum in Phoenix, and the Arizona State Museum. His jewelry has been featured in galleries worldwide and has ended up in permanent collections for its unique qualities and fine craftsmanship. His awards are too numerous to mention.
Bruce is an avid mountain biker; in addition to hunting and fishing, he often explores the wilderness that remains in northern Arizona.