Navajo jeweler, Harrison Bitsue, made this gorgeous oxidized sterling silver bracelet. He set a beautiful, bright blue natural Kingman turquoise in the center. It is truly a stunning bracelet for a smaller wrist. More on the tufa casting technique below.
Size: 6.5" round with a 1.25" opening - 1.25" W - stone is 1.25" H x 1" W
Tufa is a volcanic stone which can be as dense as chalk, and which has an organic texture. The first thing a jeweler does is examine a piece of tufa for any tiny fractures. If it looks good, the tufa is cut in half and, if there is a design, it is carved into the tufa. There is a pour hole carved into the top and several narrow vents carved into each side. The two pieces are then bound together tightly and molten silver or gold is poured through the hole at the top. If there are any microscopic cracks, the tufa explodes when the metal is poured in and the process has to begin again.