Robert Johnson was born in Gallup NM, he was raised in Pinedale, NM and graduated from Gallup High School in May 1986. Robert's career as a silversmith started when he was 14 or 15 years old , as a buffer for his parent's handmade sterling silver beads. After high school, Robert's plan was to attend a vocational school in Phoenix, AZ, due to lack of financial assistance, he was not able to attend the school he planned on attending.
Through an acquaintance Robert met the late Kirk Smith during the summer of 1986. Kirk mentored Robert on his style of creating jewelry. Traditional Navajo stamping with an antique finish , at times high polished pieces all of which started from bracelets, earrings, Concho belts, rings, squash blossoms, hair ties and so forth. It was an exciting time of Robert's life learning a new trade and being able to support himself and his family.
Business as a silversmith was a success for him at a time when Native American Jewelry was a booming industry. Robert set aside his plans for higher education since jewelry business was great. Robert moved on to designing his own styles of Navajo Jewelry with his designs being quite unique.
Creating jewelry has been a passion , once he starts on his pieces he finds it difficult to come to rest. His ability to work, work, work, is an addiction but he knows he has to make time to rest.