This incredible cuff of 18k gold has been cast in tufa stone. Then it was inlaid with 105 Australian fire opals each individually set in perfect raised bezels to highlight the deep fire of each stone. The beautiful design of the fiery hued opals evokes the look of corn which is vital to the Hopi. This piece was carved from tufa, rock found on the Hopi reservation. Tufa-casting is considered to be one of the oldest techniques in Native American jewelry. The process involves the use of Tufa, a light stone made of compressed volcanic ash. The designs are hand-carved into the Tufa mold. Molten 18k gold is then poured into the mold to create the beautiful and unique Tufa-cast jewelry. Tufa molds commonly produce only a single piece of jewelry before the mold is unusable due to the destructive nature of molten metal. While requiring great skill and precision, Tufa stone allows an artist to be a little more creative. Steve carved each of the 105 Australian opals by hand and set them individually on the cuff to mimic rows of corn, one of the three sisters for sustaining life on the reservation. The inside of the beautiful cuff is filled with Hopi symbols of corn and the sun. Steve’s Hopi name is Wikivya with which he signs his pieces of jewelry along with the Sun symbol because he is of the Sun Clan. Wikivya means “Bringing back the Blessings of the successful hunt”.
Condition: Excellent – original condition – new
Provenance: Purchased from the artist