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?
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 Navajo silversmiths oxidize the bottom layer which darkens it. Hopi silversmiths oxidize and etch the background (texturize it) with hashmarks.
What is a Kokopelli?
The kokopelli, flute player, often associated with the Hopi Flute Clan is the symbol of happiness, joy and fertility.
Usually depicted as a non-gender figure, it was traditionally a male figure, often well endowed until the missionaries discouraged such depiction !
Kokopelli talks to the wind and the sky. His flute can be heard in the spring breeze, bringing warmth after the winter cold. He is the symbolic seed bringer and water sprinkler. His religious or supernatural power for fertility is meant to invoke rain as well as impregnate women both physically and mentally.
The kokopelli image is found from Casa Grande, Mexico to the Hopi and Rio Grande Pueblos and then westward to the Californian deserts in prehistoric rock, effigy figures, pottery, and on kiva walls.