Darryl and Rebecca Begay collaborate on much of their tufa or sandstone-cast jewelry. Rebecca helps with all aspects of their jewelry making. She begins the process by measuring and outlining the realistic figures that often appear on their pieces. She then begins the carving, while Darryl does the detailed carving. Both make bezels and set stones, but it’s Darryl who shapes the turquoise, coral, and other stones.
Both artists work to achieve different depths and precise carving, to set them apart from other tufa carvers. Darryl’s precision is evident in the exact outlines of his realistic figures: landscapes and human forms. Rebecca’s work has a contemporary quality and often features dragonflies or butterflies. Her favorite techniques include working with lines and experimenting with the texture of the tufa stone. These artists are well known for the quality of their work and the high-grade of their stones.
Darryl is from Round Rock, Arizona and Rebecca from Crownpoint, New Mexico. They met while in college at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Rebecca has a degree in art education and has worked as a teacher. After studying accounting, Darryl changed his career course and learned silversmithing from his uncle, Bobby Begay. The couple lives in Gallup, New Mexico. They have three sons.
Rebecca says she “always had a passion to be an artist.” She and Darryl strive to take their art to new levels. They also share their enthusiasm and expertise by participating in demonstrations and discussions of their art.