Ed Aguilar

Ed Aguilar

Ed Aguilar's precision, attention to detail, and hard work creates one of the finest hand-made chains in the world.

Ed was born and raised on the Santo Domingo Reservation in New Mexico. He studied Silversmithing when he was a teen at boarding school in Santa Fe. In the Santo Domingo tradition, he worked as fire fighter on summer vacations.

Before Ed could finish high school, his father was injured in an accident and unable to work. As the oldest son, Ed quit high school to support his mother, 3 sisters and 2 brothers.

At 21 years of age, he married Mary who was only 16 at the time. They had three children and today he enjoys four lovely grandchildren.

Ed always had a strong work ethic and found little pleasure in idle time as a young man. In the late 60's he watched his uncle "pull silver", known as extruded silver. Ed started making round silver beads in this method and stringing them much the same way his mother had strung her heishi years before.

In a strange twist of fate, a California woman, a salt-water diver, requested that Ed make her a necklace that she could wear in the water. Stringing his bead on cord would not work, so he investigated the possibility of using foxtail. Foxtail is square so he had to make the beads square. Thus was the beginning of the "Aguilar chain" style you see today.

Although Ed is capable of making beautiful bolos, rings and bracelets, he found that he could not keep up with the demand for his "hand-pulled" silver necklaces.

Does he ever get bored making and stringing those little beads on foxtail 15 to 16 hours a day, 7 days a week? "Never", he says, "if I did, I'd do something else!"

What will Ed do in later years? He says he'll relax (something he'll need to practice), and see the country with Mary in his motor home. At this point only his six year old grandson has shown interest in following in his grandfather's footsteps to make these unique, beautiful and perfectly crafted chains.

Ed recently passed away from diabetes.

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This site was last updated on November 21, 2017.

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