Ken Martinez

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Jewelry - Non-Precious

Born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I have lived in Corrales, New Mexico since 1984. Growing up in a very traditional extended Hispanic family with grandparents, parents, and siblings all living in the same home, I valued our traditional ways and the values they were based on. Family and culture were most important then and continue to be now.

I began as a silversmith when I was 20 years old, having been taught by my brothers. During those early years, the proceeds of my sales contributed to financing my undergraduate and graduate education. When I began my professional career as a clinical child psychologist, I stepped away from active silversmithing, only making pieces for gifts and contributions to non-profit organizations. I retired in 2017 and began again to actively craft in silver.

As a native New Mexican, I have embraced and lived the familial and cultural values, traditions, and rituals I grew up with, all of which find their way into my jewelry. Incorporating the healing properties of turquoise, a mineral that has been used by ancient civilizations, with the chemical element of silver opens up a world of creativity and exploration.

Today, 49 years after I began to make jewelry, I continue the family tradition of creating silver and turquoise jewelry by teaching a new generation of family artists.

My pieces incorporate traditional and contemporary styles which highlight the natural beauty of turquoise and other precious and semiprecious gems I work with.