Eric Bonecutter’s family has been trading and working with Navajo silversmiths for over four generations and Eric has continued this tradition. Eric’s grandparents, Leroy and Willmarene Atkinson, operated trading posts on Route 66 in New Mexico and Arizona from the 1930′s up to the 1980′s. Eric’s mother was born in Gallup, New Mexico and moved to Tucson, Arizona as a teenager. In 1973 she opened Many Goats Indian Gallery, a well loved gallery in Tucson. Eric spent years working there after school and eventually as manager. During this time he learned about the Native American silversmiths and their incredible techniques. During this time Eric also developed a broad knowledge about the many turquoise mines in the United States and worldwide, and the diverse stones they produced. Eric eventually moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to work with his grandparents and his Uncle Lynn Atkinson. Striking out on his own in the mid 1980′s, Eric began working directly with a handful of Navajo silversmiths with the intention of creating a line of jewelry based on the classic styles of the 1930′s and 40′s known for the heavy silver, deep stamp work and natural stones. Eric began working with fledgling silversmiths such as Sunshine Reeves, Darryl Becenti, Albert Jake, David & Gary Reeves, and Andy Cadman. Many of these silversmiths have taken top awards at Gallup Ceremonial and at Santa Fe Indian Market.
Eric continues to be an innovator and trendsetter in Native American silver design, not only in classic stamped silverwork but also stunning bead combinations. Known as Bonecutter Beads, these necklaces have semi-precious stone, shell and hand finished sterling beads, and are sometimes paired with incredible pendants. Eric enjoys working closely with very talented silversmiths to create quality pieces to be enjoyed now and for future generations.