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.
A staple addition to your Southwest fashion collection, Carico Lake Turquoise is also a collectible North American Turquoise with an astonishing color palette. Ranging from highly unique electric greens to sky blue; from teal to mossy, earthy greens. And rarely, a nugget with both earth and sky color. The highest grade Carico Lake Turquoise is gem-quality American turquoise. Originally known as Stone Cabin, and then Aurora #8, Carico Lake Turquoise has a colorful history for a dried-up lake bed in a remote part of Lander County. The mine has come to rest with the owner of Sunwest Silver Company, Ernest Montoya.
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