Olin Tsingine was born in Phoenix, Arizona. His mother is Hopi, and his father is Hopi and Diné. Olin grew up one hour’s drive from Hopi First Mesa and was inspired from a young age by Hopi pottery, weaving, and Kachina dances. Olin possesses a natural tenacity to absorb the information given to him and the courage to use it. These gifts offer him unique opportunities in his life to grow and learn. In his early 20’s Olin petitioned his tribe for a scholarship to become a pilot. Immediately after he received his private pilot’s license, the effects of September 11, 2001, transformed the skies, and he was unable to find work due to having no military background. Unsure of what he wanted to do with his life, he began traveling all over the Southwest buying and selling Native American jewelry.
As Olin Tsingine learned about different types of turquoise and famed artists, people would give him fragments of broken jewelry, encouraging him to repair them or make them into something new. After examining the remnants, Olin decides to take his first soldering class at the age of 32. Utilizing his excitement and ability to learn quickly, he excelled in and noticed by his teacher. Realizing his student’s desire to learn, he allows Olin to enroll in jewelry making classes at Tempe Parks and Recreation on the strict condition he keeps up in class regardless of his lack of experience. Olin not only keeps up in class, but he leaps ahead learning: forming, lost wax casting, cuttlefish casting, tufa casting, and lapidary. Crediting Edison Cummings for helping him master technique, and Cody Sanderson for showing him the intricacies of how to be an artist in today’s world, Olin is becoming a well-respected and sought-after silversmith. Staying true to his nature, he is constantly learning new approaches to jewelry making and experimenting with new styles, striving to keep moving forward. He gains his inspiration from desert sunsets, the reservation, and his dreams, descriptively evident in his articulate, unique designs.
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