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Peterson - Navajo Sterling Silver
Paula says - "The crisp detail that the husband and wife team of Calvin and Betty Peterson achieves in these overlay rings just amazes me."
What is Overlay?
Native American overlay pieces are made of two layers of sterling silver. The bottom layer is a solid piece while the top layer has a cutout design. The cutout layer is placed over the bottom layer and the two pieces are "sweated" together, heated so that they become one solid piece of sterling silver. The bottom layer, or background, that shows through the cut out portion of the top layer is often darkened for contrast.
Hopi silversmiths typically texture the background layer with hash marks while Navajo artists often leave the background smooth. Hopi artists tend to use geometric designs and symbols similar to those used in their pottery and baskets. Navajo silversmiths tend to create scenes depicting everyday life using people, animals, buildings and landscapes to tell a story - this style is called "overlay storyteller jewelry". Read more about overlay here.
Bear is considered the most powerful of all of the animals and is one of the most popular subjects of fetish carvers. Bear is a spiritual guide and represents strength and self-knowledge. He has supernatural powers, great healing powers. Bear is a symbol deliberate action, introspection, soul and insight for the past and the future. The Bear is the guardian of the West an is one of the animals of the Six Directions.
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