Hopi Overlay Pendant
Hopi Overlay Pendant

Hopi Overlay Pendant

na000150

Regular price $96.00 Save $-96.00
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This small Hopi overlay pendant is etched all around the edge with straight lines.  The top sheet of silver is tufa cast, which gives it an organic texture.  The symbols include a cave, lightening bolt, and water.  What a wonderful reminder of how precious water is, as well as the power of lightening and caves.  The bale is large enough for a delicate chain.  It is signed "LJ" on the back.

Size: 1" H x .5" W

Overlay jewelry is made by sawing out two sheets of sterling silver the same size.  Hopi jewelers texture the bottom sheet with hatch marks.  It is then oxidized to turn it black.  The design is drawn on to the top sheet of silver which is then carefully sawed out with a fine jeweler's saw. The edges are filed smooth.  The top piece is soldered on to the bottom piece.  Sometimes, there are many small pieces that are also soldered on to the bottom sheet of silver.  It is then polished to a high sheen.

Tufa Jewelry: Tufa is a volcanic stone which can be as dense as chalk which has an organic texture. The first thing a jeweler does is examine a piece of tufa for any tiny fractures.  If it looks good, the tufa is cut in half and, if there is a design, it is carved into the tufa.   There is a pour hole carved into the top and several narrow vents carved into each side.  The two pieces are then bound together tightly and molten silver or gold is poured through the hole at the top.  If there are any microscopic cracks, the tufa explodes when the metal is poured in and the process has to begin again.