“All Creatures Great and Small” Cuff
Hopi artist Ruben Saufkie Sr. is a notable silversmith with illustrious relatives, as well: the late, revered Lawrence Saufkie, his great-uncle, and the equally celebrated Paul Saufkie, Sr, his grandfather.
Ruben says that through his pieces, “[I am] doing my best to share our Hopi teachings of finding balance, harmony and unity which leads to peace.”
This enchanting bracelet epitomizes that aim with beauty, and a bit of wit, too.
The central motif is a large, overlaid silver Sunface, smiling benignly and overlapping the narrow borders of the cuff.
The plain silver design shimmers, against the densely black background.
On either side of the Sunface, three, different, overlaid silver creatures point toward the center.
Some are expected Hopi animal symbols: a lizard, a turtle, bear, and wolf.
However, also taking part in this parade of good-luck, protective creatures are the totally unexpected roadrunner, and dolphin!
Each creature is designed, and flawlessly executed, with beautiful forms and details.
If the concept is sweetly amusing, the implementation is masterful.
Flowing lines and forms of each creature, and within them, create a graceful pattern that evokes the motions of the animals themselves: gliding through water, scampering, roaring, and so on.
The complex animation of the silver work, testifies to the artistry of this younger Saufkie jeweler. The family legacy is in gifted hands, indeed.