A traditional process using natural materials, tufa stone casting became a popular technique amongst Native silversmiths sometime in the late 1870's. Tufa stone -which is found within the Navajo reservations- is a porous, compressed volcanic ash. To begin this casting process a large stone is gathered and then split in half. To prepare the stone for casting the artist must first smooth it out before carving their design on the inside surfaces of the stone. After heating the stone to allow carbonization the two halves are then bound together. Molten metal is then poured into the mold via a sprue hole that was carved into the stop during the preparation process. Once the metal has cooled and hardened it is removed from the mold, sanded, cleaned and then shaped into its finished form. Due to the fragile nature of tufa stone, most molds only last for one casting which makes the designs both unique and collectible.
Mined in New Mexico, Tyrone Turquoise is a highly prized turquoise. It is a naturally hard turquoise, requiring little to no stabilization with a gorgeous deep blue color range. Unfortunately, due to current copper excavating procedures, Tyrone Turquoise is no longer retrieved from the mine.
Authentic Handmade Native American Jewelry