This elegantly simple bracelet is a fine example of this major artist’s skill and talent.
Recognized as a master of the old technique of tufa casting, he has made a thoroughly contemporary version of the traditional Navajo bracelet using traditional materials.
Renowned for his unusually refined tufa-casting, it is not surprising that the chic width of the cuff is a remarkable, fine-grained texture, and the surprise design on the interior is precise and delicate.
Tufa casting is a very old and difficult Navajo technique in which images are carved into the crumbly tufa forming a mold, into which molten silver is poured, hardened, and then detailed by hand.
Darryl sources his special tufa (naturally compressed volcanic sand) from a secret place around Hopi land, where his wife comes from.
It is said that a single image can take a day to carve into the tufa; Darryl sees himself not only as a jeweler, but also as a sculptor in a miniature scale.
In this striking bracelet, the refinement of the texture, along with the dramatic width of the cuff, adds drama to the design.
Even though the applied figural design, fabricated from natural red coral and limpid blue, water web turquoise, is traditional in materials and subject – Mother Earth, or a corn spirit – the graceful form is abstract and modern.
On the inside of cuff, integrated, tufa-cast dragonflies flit daintily across the length, with remarkable clarity and delicate detail.
Dragonflies are good-luck symbols, since they live on and around water, which is a scarce blessing out on the Navajo and Hopi lands.
This piece is elegant, meticulous in workmanship, and distinctive; it is easy to see why Darryl is considered a major talent.
He has, incidentally, already won the most prestigious award in indian art – Best in Show at Santa Fe Indian Market.
A stunning example of the Now look of Native jewelry, by one of the acknowledged masters, this cuff employs the finest turquoise and coral, to match the quality of the artistic vision, and the execution.