Koi Tufa Cast Pendant

Darryl Dean Begay



Darryl Dean Begay began his career in art in the summer of 1997. That summer, Darryl worked alongside his uncle and silversmith Bobby Begay. After working with his uncle, Darryl changed his college major, as well as the course of his life. While he previously believed he would major in accounting, he realized that carving and designing came naturally to him in a way accounting never could.

Begay grew up in a family steeped in Navajo traditions and was born to the Ta’chi’nii or Red Streak Extending Into Water Clan. His grandfather was a ceremonial sand painter. his grandmother a rug weaver, and his uncle, Bobby, a Native America Church medicine man. He credits his uncle and his family with his successes; his grandparents performed a blessing ceremony and created a foundation for him with their many prayers.

This pendant shows Darryl Dean’s expertise with tufa casting and his affinity for Japanese culture.

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 striking pendant displays the ultra-fine grain of the special tufa and the remarkable carving skill of the master jeweler.

A stunning piece, with Darryl Dean’s usual high level of craftsmanship…perfect to add to your collection!


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