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Ernest Rangel

A Navajo silversmith from Prewitt, New Mexico. When Ernest is not competing on the rodeo circuit he is busy making rugged, high quality, silver belt buckles and bracelets.
Sometimes his pieces are made using the tufa cast method: Tufa casting is an ancient process where the design is carved into a sawn-out block of tufa (a half-formed, crumbly sandstone) and then molten silver is poured into the rough mold. Much refining work is required to produce the finished jewelry. His work is dramatic in impact, often using fine, high-quality turquoise or coral as embellishment. He works both in traditional styles, as well as creating contemporary, innovative designs.