Dan Simplicio


Dan Simplicio

Zuni silversmith, Dan Simplicio (1917-1969) learned the art of jewelry making from his uncle, Juan DeDios, one of the earliest Zuni silversmiths. Although this World War II veteran only had about 30 short years of jewelry making, his talent and techniques are still recognized. Simplicio is one of the first known artists to begin incorporating natural red coral branches and rough-cut coral nuggets into his jewelry. As early as 1931, it is also said that he is possibly one of the first Zuni artists to begin using gold. Simplicio worked at C.G. Wallace’s trading post and collaborated with amazing Zuni artists including Leekya Deyuse, Teddie Weahkee, Leo Poblano, Bernard Homer and Lee Edakkie. Throughout his time, he developed an inapt ability to create stunning leaf motifs with intricate stamps and carved details, beginning his signature balance of delicate leaf work and heavy turquoise and coral designs.