An impressive ring, from an unusual source.
Cochiti Pueblo is known for its traditional drums and pottery; jewelers are rather rare.
Tim says, “I have done artwork in many forms including drawing, painting, ceramics, and sculpture, although jewelry is my main focus. I am the son of a Cochiti Pueblo drum maker and (am) also known for this traditional art form.”
A graduate of the Institute for American Indian Arts, in Santa Fe, Tim has already earned awards for his work at the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Indian Market, and other prestigious shows.
This splendid ring is designed like a traditional Ketoh (bow guard), with a gorgeous, natural turquoise in the center.
The silver face is tufa cast, and polished on the raised edges, resulting in a fascinating two-toned look of bright texture and gleaming highlights.
Tufa casting is one of the oldest forms of Native American jewelry; tufa is a porous, semi-hard volcanic material.
The tufa stone is sliced into two layers, carved into the desired designs with a sharp tool, then melted silver is poured into the cast.
After the silver cools, it has to be carefully pried out, and hand-finished.
Owing to the crumbly natural of tufa, usually, only one or two casts can be made from a mold.
This natural stone is a brilliant, true teal color, webbed with dark matrix, and sits high above the silver surface, supported by a polished, fence-like silver bezel.
In the back, the shank is of extraordinarily substantial silver. Three bars on either side of the face flow into a solid and thick silver shank with deep stamping.
The workmanship is impeccable; fastidiously precise and beautifully finished. The turquoise is gorgeous.
Large and imposing, in size and design, this is definitely a statement ring. Although the design on the shank makes resizing problematic, it can be done.
Catch this stellar new artist at the start of his indubitably illustrious career.