Tribal Affiliation: Navajo
Jeff DeMent is from the Dine’ (Navajo), Bit’ahnii Clan. He is the oldest son of George and Grace DeMent and grandson of Georgina Cohoe’ of Two Grey Hills, New Mexico. His life has come full circle, from innocent childhood to military combat, death, destruction and violence, and now an opportunity to bring beauty and a sense of peace back into the world through his work and traditional Diné silversmithing.
DeMent’s work is hand-crafted using a traditional Diné technique called tufa casting that dates back to the 1800’s. His original designs are hand carved into tuff, a compressed volcanic ash commonly called tufa rock, to create a mold. He then heats the mold and pours molten silver into it to form each piece. After annealing, the silver is hand cut, filed and formed. The tufa molds are only used once, making each and every piece a true one-of-a-kind.
“Turquoise has spiritual energy and characteristics of strength, protection and power,” says DeMent. “Silver is a natural element and is one of the greatest conductors of energy of all metals. I like working with silver because it is known to increase perception, feeling, awareness, and a sense of balance and harmony. Since it is a great conductor of energy, it enhances the turquoise, conducting its energy to the person who wears it.”