Pendant Width: 2.5″
Pendant Height: 2.75″
This artist is so talented, he is acclaimed for his photography, books and films, as well as jewelry. This handsome necklace showcases one of the enduring symbols of good luck in southwestern Native culture, the dragonfly. It is a staple of jewelry and pottery, as well as other mediums because of its graceful proportions, and also because of its symbolism: dragonflies live and flit about over water, which is a precious commodity in the arid southwest, and therefore is very good luck.
This necklace is a beautiful combination of two very different techniques – the tufa-cast pieces that hang down, and the exquisitely regular, round, beads. Hand made in two halves, each bead is soldered together, and the seam sanded down to invisibility. Their brushed satin finish resembles a string of lustrous pearls.
The dragonfly and roses, which all hang from polished silver disks, are tufa cast. Wild roses are often shown with birds and/or dragonflies, to symbolize the crops that the presence of water encourages.
Tufa is a semi-hard, natural material of compressed volcanic sand. A block of tufa is sawn in half, horizontally, and the design carefully carved into the bottom half. Molten silver is then poured into the hand carved mold, and the rough piece is finished off when the silver cools enough to remove it from the tufa. Because tufa is extremely crumbly, only one or, perhaps, two casts can be made from each mold. The Hopi tufa used by this artist, and other notable ones, is very fine-grained, leaving an allover refined texture.
Remarkably beautiful silver beads contrast in their smooth roundness with the textured dragonfly and flowers. Together, the ensemble is elegant, but not forbiddingly formal, and gracefully eye-catching. The design is lovely, the workmanship is first-rate, and the symbolism is full of good luck. A marvelous necklace by this multi-talented artist who makes very little jewelry, these days. It’s your good luck to catch this dragonfly!