Sand casting is a labor-intensive process whereby the artist carves a design in tufa stone or hard-packed wet sand and pours molten silver into the carved area. The silver piece is removed when it is cooled, and the rough edges are filed off, the back is buffed and it is carefully polished on the front. Any buckles, clasps or pins are soldered on the back, and the piece may or may not be signed. Popular years ago, sand cast pieces are now harder to come by as fewer artist choose this method of jewelry making. This brooch is a Yei (pronounced yeh' ee) which is a Navajo God - in this case it is a Rainbow Yei because of the bowed shape. The flat back and center ridge on the body and arms are typical of sand cast pieces. The face is very detailed, as is the design on the skirt. Remember, all of this was first carved into stone or sand in reverse before the silver was poured. This piece is not signed, but is still a very nice example of sterling Navajo artistry. It measures 1 1/4" x 1".
Item ID: 0217-1516
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