Recognized as a young (thirty-something) master of the old technique of tufa casting, this ring is a fine example of this acclaimed artist’s skill and talent. He has won the most prestigious award in Indian art- Best in Show at Santa Fe Indian Market – as well as just about every other award available. Here, he has made a major statement using the traditional technique of tufa-cast silver and a spectacular, natural turquoise.
The large stone is a gorgeous, natural, spiderweb, Apache Blue turquoise. It is a rich teal, covered by a dense web of lacy black matrix. The setting is equally handsome and unusual: totally tufa cast silver, including the bezel that surrounds the stone. The fine-grained tufa, a natural, hard-packed material between sand and stone, has been left un-darkened, to blend with the superb stone and the perfectly matched, tiny, polished silver dots that glint in the light.
Three, tufa-cast, triangular silver bars form the shank, which tapers down from the front to a somewhat narrower, comfortable width at the back. The textured gleam of the shank contrasts with the sparkle of the beautiful stone’s surrounding dots.
Seemingly simple, the entire piece is integrated: form, design, and materials extend throughout. Starting with that beautiful stone that seems lit from within, this ring is timeless, traditional yet distinctive, and exquisite in execution, design and materials. It proves why Darryl is considered such a major talent.