Openwork Tufa Cast Pendant
This multi-talented young man was granted a 2010 fellowship by the Wheelwright Museum of Indian Art in Santa Fe, and has won First Prizes at Santa Fe Indian Market for several consecutive years. He was known for beadwork and painting, but jewelry is now in the forefront of his interest. He particularly likes to work in tufa cast silver, as here. Tufa is a naturally occurring, semi-hardened material between sand and sandstone. It must be sawn, because it crumbles so easily, and only one to three pieces can be cast from a single, hand-carved mold. This delicate a design, using tufa casting, is unusual. A hauntingly abstract design resembles an Asian brushstroke painting. The graceful lines resemble twigs, perhaps, with just one last blossom or seedpod, attached. However, since the artist is Navajo, it may also refer to Spider Woman, one of the iconic figures of Navajo lore, spinning her web. However this beautiful pendant strikes you, it is a marvel of design and skill. There is a lovely contrast between the rugged texture of the slender tufa cast elements, and the solid, polished concave circle and silver drop. Dewdrop on a leaf, or abstraction of Spider Woman; trembling winter twigs or abstract web, this is a compellingly handsome design, achieved with full mastery of technique.
Width: 7/8″ Height: 3 5/8″ Depth: 1/4″