Daniel Begay is the son of Harrison Begay, Jr., a Navajo painter who married into Santa Clara Pueblo and learned the Santa Clara way of making pottery from his mother-in-law. Daniel grew up at Santa Clara, learning to make pottery with his father and collaborating on pieces until he decided to break out on his own.
Daniel developed a style combining Navajo and Santa Clara designs on a carved jar. He differs from his father's work in that his layouts are centered more on a diagonal axis. His father's lines are more vertical, not angled. Both potters like sharp, crisp lines. Daniel has also branched into the use of matte paint on certain sections of his pots and firing some a second time to turn a pot brown/sienna after first making it black.
Daniel earned a graduate degree in accounting and another in business administration. He has a day job as an academic advisor at the University of New Mexico and makes pottery in his spare time as a means to relax and reconnect with his roots. He's also married and raising a daughter.