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Ernie Lister

Carved Turquoise Leaf Bracelet

Navajo Nation


PLZ 91

My resuscitation of the Navajo "blacksmith" style of jewelry construction is my focus to revisit the old art forms developed by early Navajo smiths a hundred years ago. This endeavor includes; using outdated methods, tools and techniques to build heirloom quality pieces. Materials used in the casting process usually includes silver or gold, which are melted and put into ingot molds. These ingot bars are smoothed and trimmed into useable materials. The technique used in fashioning these bars into jewelry pieces is where the metal is hammered, beveled and stamped with handmade design stamps. Many visits to a fire source to soften the bars is needed to shape these items. Finishing these include smoothing with files, etc. and adding stones, if needed.