Inlaid Feather Pendant
Inlaid Feather Pendant

Inlaid Feather Pendant


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David Tune is an award-winning Creek, Navajo, Hopi jeweler who was raised by his Navajo family.  He inlaid this pendant with fossilized walrus ivory, orange spiny oyster shell, natural red coral, and Sleeping Beauty turquoise, and lapis.  The setting has detailed cut-outs all around the edge, and the band is tufa cast (see below).  It has a long, graceful bail that would fit a wide chain or 4-6mm beads.  It is stamped on the back with his sun hallmark and name.

Size: 1.125" H x 0.375" W

Tufa Jewelry: Tufa is a volcanic stone which can be as dense as chalk 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.