"Native tribes in the Southwest have been creating ornamental jewelry for many hundreds of years. Before the Spanish ever arrived, these tribal artists had mastered the art of heishi bead rolling and lapidary. However, it was not until the 1800s that they learned to work metal from Mexican smiths. The Navajos were the first tribe to cast silver jewelry in the late 1870s and the technique spread to the Zuni and Hopi tribes by 1890."
Our design is carved into the flat surface on the inside of the stone mold. Molten silver or gold is poured into the negative space of the mold making up the intended design. It is a very labor intensive process and each mold only gives you one actual piece often times.
We are a husband and wife team and the husband is all about intricate details and being challenged. He does the carving, melting and forming of the cast pieces and I usually set the stones. I am all about simplicity mostly but I am in love with the age old primitive techniques like Tufacast. Here's a look at some of the tufacast pieces we have created together...