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Paula says - "This well made sterling silver kachina pendant was tufa cast by hand."
Tufa cast, or sand cast, items are Indian Hand Made items using a procedure developed by the Navajo silversmiths in the mid 1800s. It is a labor-intensive process that involves many steps.
Using tuff stone, a porous rock from volcanic ash, tufa stone, a porous limestone that forms near hot springs, or sandstone, a harder stone, the artist carves the design of the item being cast. Another flat stone is placed against the carved half of the mold. The halves are fastened together and a sprue hole is carved into one end. Molten silver is poured into the mold using the sprue hole. Once the silver cools, the item is taken out and finished. Bracelets are poured flat and then shaped. Read more . . .
What is a Kachina?
A kachina has three aspects. The supernatural being as it exists in the minds of the Hopis; the masked impersonator of the supernatural spirit; and the dolls that are made in the likeness of the masked impersonator of the supernatural spirit. Kachinas represent the forces of nature, human, animal, plant, and act as intermediaries between the world of humans and the gods.
Kachinas play an important part in the seasonal ceremonies of the Hopi, which encompass generations of passed-on knowledge and tradition, and has become the subject of a number of books. Small kachina dolls are given to children to introduce the child to what each of the kachinas look like. Traditionally, kachina dolls are created by Hopi or Zuni artists.
About the Artist, Monty Claw
With a long time experience in multiple art forms, Monty Claw of the Navajo Nation from Gallup, New Mexico is a successful artist in which ever medium he uses. Being self taught and some studies at The Institute of American Indian Arts, he has taken on being one of the prominent artists of today. Currently he works with jewelry, metal smithing, painting, beadwork, and feather fan making. Monty has been in many publications like The Smithsonian Magazine, and Native Peoples Magazine. He has museum quality collections with the Nelson Atkins, The Nerman Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Denver Art Museum, The Sam Noble Museum, and Musée Du Quai Branly in Paris, France.
Monty is now working with jewelry and metal smithing. These are works of silver and gold occasionally set with precious gems like turquoise, coral, and diamonds. The pieces he creates are of high quality, with artistic creativity, fine details, and very sculptural definitions that make them come to life. His work is recently sought after by major collectors, museum board members, and major curators.
With the support of his family and peers he continues to explore jewelry and metal smithing with a vision of his own setting a path for his stories in the form of art. He has only began jewelry and metal smithing in 2011. Along the way came awards from distinguished events like the SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market, The Heard Museum Indian Market, and Cherokee Art Market in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Monty continues to grow with knowledge and success as one of today’s and into tomorrow’s light as a ground breaking artist.