Darryl Dean Begay taught his wife Rebecca the art of tufa casting as their three sons began to grow and she had a bit more time to help him in the studio.
Rebecca took to it well and became an award-winning jeweler, especially known for her beautifully detailed flower designs.
Darryl and Rebecca were winners of the prestigious “Best in Show” Award at the 2009 Santa Fe Indian Market.
This cuff shows Rebecca’s expertise with tufa casting, as well as her beautiful flower theme, including hands of blessing and other symbolism on each end of the cuff.
Tufa is a naturally hardened, volcanic sand-like substance, that is very friable.
To cast from tufa, you saw a chunk out of the ground, slice it in half like a layer cake, carve out the desired design – very carefully, since the material is so crumbly – then pour molten silver into the mold.
After it is cooled, you pry out the rough cast – again, very carefully – and then finish off the silver to the end product.
This gorgeous cuff displays the ultra-fine grain of the special tufa and the remarkable carving skill of this gifted jeweler.
You’ll be able to walk in beauty with this beautiful piece of wearable art!