Bennie Ration is a Navajo Indian from the Canoncito Navajo Reservation in New Mexico. He was born on March 21, 1955 to Frances and John Ration. His father, a silversmith since childhood, taught Bennie the craft of silversmithing when Bennie was eleven years old. His father told him that no matter what happens in life, he would always have silversmithing to fall back on.
Bennie has always been a talented artist. After he graduated from high school he enrolled in a one year program at U. S. Silkscreen and Graphics School in Scottsdale, Arizona. Upon completion of the course he worked for three years as silk screener and graphic designer. In 1978, Bennie did “fall back” on the art of silversmithing. Using the look and style that he developed as a graphic designer, Bennie began making beautiful three-dimensional figures in silver. His many wearable art designs include Zuni and Hopi Kachina figures, Southwestern animals, feathers, and Navajo inspired geometric patterns. Bennie also adorns many of his pieces with gem quality Turquoise stones, such as rare cabochons from the Kingman and Manassa mines. Some pieces (a Sunface Kachina, for example) have a removable head which can be worn as an independent pin or as a necklace with body attached. When asked how he comes up with his many designs, Bennie says, “I remember what I see and make pieces in my mind. ”
Bennie’s work is considered museum-quality due to the excellence of the work and the caliber of the stones. Bennie Ration’s work is not only beautiful to wear, it is highly valued art for curators and investors.