This award-winning jeweler uses traditional Hopi motifs and symbols in a way that looks modern and personal.
He is a major figure in the Native art world, for his activism and cultural ambassadorships, as well as his art.
His favorite technique is tufa-casting silver, and he has a secret source for very fine-grained tufa, which allows for unusually refined designs.
(Tufa is a naturally compacted sandy material that has to be sawn, it is so crumbly. Molten silver or gold is poured into the gingerly carved mold, and then removed when hardened.)
This appealing pendant features his delicate silver, tufa cast design, in the background, surrounded by a border of inlaid natural turquoise.
The depth achieved by this design is like looking through a window.
The rectangular stones suggest the stonework at the ancient ruins of Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon, as does the tapered, trapezoidal shape.
The spiral in the center of the silver represents the path or river of life; the lines hanging down from the top refer to rain.
Water is the most precious resource in the desert, where the Hopi live. Turquoise also symbolizes water and sky
Even on the tufa-cast bail, there is a polished lightning symbol, so this very attractive pendant is more than just pretty, it contains very good luck.
The Sun motif on the reverse is a complementary symbol to the water signs on the front. Nature is in balance, the desired ideal.
Beneath the sun, the piece is signed with the artist’s Native name.