Pipestone Bear Paw Buckle by Lakota Mitchell Zephier
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Fits up to a 1 1/4" belt.
What is Overlay?
Overlay pieces are made of two layers. The bottom layer is a solid sterling silver piece. The top layer has a cutout design. The cutout is placed over the bottom layer and the two pieces are "sweated" together, that is heated so that they become one.
The bottom layer (background to the cutout) is usually accented. The Lakota silversmiths oxidize the bottom layer which darkens it. Hopi silversmiths oxidize and etch the background (texturize it) with hashmarks.
Mitchell Charles Zephier
Mitchell Zephier of Rapid City, South Dakota grew up on the Cheyenne River and Rosebud Indian reservations. In 1981 he founded Lakota Visions, traditional Lakota made Native American arts, crafts and jewelry from the plains states. He has mentored over 34 apprentices in metal-smithing and marketing. Family members and friends that work on Lakota Visions jewelry include his son Wakinyan Luta Zephier , Belle Starboy, Webster Two Hawk Jr., and Roger Dale Herron.
Mitch has won numerous awards including first place at Red Earth Show, several awards at the internationally prestigious Sante Fe Indian Market as well as presented his work at far off Native American venues like Schimutzun Celebration in Connecticut. He has also earned the South Dakota Governor's award.
Mitch has other forms of artistic expression. His album Cherish the Children won a National Native Music Award for Best Children's Album. Mitchell Zephier's latest venture is to team up with fellow artists to explore, on film this time, the issues that affect the lives of Native Young People in Cloud Horse Production's Lakota 4 Life, a Zephier inspired look at the issues, decisions, responsibilities and opportunities facing Native Youth today.