Cadman Family (Mid-20th Century -) The patriarch of the silversmithing Cadman family of New Mexico was Anderson Cadman who was born in Twin Lakes, New Mexico. Anderson learned his silversmithing skills from his stepson David Reeves. Anderson Cadman created very high quality silver jewelry and his Native American Hallmark is a cursive A. Cadman.
Anderson Cadman’s sons, Andy, Darrell, and Donovan Cadman are also all silversmiths. Their half-brothers Gary, Sunshine, and David Reeves are also distinguished silversmiths.
The most well-known, though, is Andy Cadman who was born in 1966 and began silvermithing in 1989 at age twenty-three. Andy Cadman is the older brother of silversmith Darrel Cadman and half-brother to the celebrated smiths, Gary and Sunshine Reeves.
This group of relatively young smiths learned much of their trade from David Reeves (Gary and Sunshine’s full-brother, now deceased.) The Cadman and Reeves brothers shared similar apprenticeships and their work displays a common feel and some other similarities. Andy is a jovial fellow whose friends and family call him “Ben.”
Andy’s creations reflect an intrinsic understanding of classic Navajo work with beautifully stamped silver jewelry that uses a variety of stones and materials. His outstanding silver jewelry has resulted in many awards and his pieces are prized by collectors of all stripes including museums. He signs his work A. Cadman.
Experts in the field of Native American crafts have written that, “Navajo silversmith Andy Cadman can make just about anything with silver. However, the best thing he might make is sterling silver beads that are some of the heaviest on the market.”
An example can be found in a necklace where the bottom displays a striking piece of turquoise filled with an aqua color that has a highlighting copper colored matrix throughout.
Antique brushed silver beads display alternating blossom stamped cutouts and najas. Like all of Andy’s handmade silver and stone, this Southwest lifestyle piece looks complements a pair of jeans just as well as a semi-formal dress.
Other examples of Andy’s creativity are seen in his belt buckles. A particularly attractive one is an homage to traditional Navajo artistry. A blue turquoise gemstone that also displays a beautiful brownish-gold matrix is set in a heavy gauge sterling silver design. A ribbed pattern and scalloped edge add texture and sophistication to the piece. Even with its high quality gemstones and silver work, it is a buckle that can be worn by both men and women
Andy also creates unique cuffs. One example has three flower clusters with round centers and oval petals of natural, untreated “Persian Blue” turquoise that are set in perfect symmetry on the deep-stamped, sculpted-edge cuff. All stones show a vivid blue coloration. Each of the twenty-two ovals and three round centers is set in the straight-edged bezel. Raindrops are interspersed between the stones and set around the edge of the clusters.
The cuff has an undulating scalloped edge and shows deep, precise stamp work. It is a classic, wide Navajo cuff with rare turquoise of exceptional color. It is marked “A. CADMAN” and stamped “Sterling” inside the cuff behind the stones.
Andy’s brother, Darrell Cadman is also a Navajo silversmith who was born in 1969 in Gallup. Darrell began working with silver in 1992. The other brother, Donovan and half-brothers Gary and Sunshine Reeves are all very well-known silversmiths. Darrell signs his work “D” or “D Cadman.”