Handcrafted works of Native American art require special care. For more information about proper care and cleaning, please read our Care Guide.
In the decades just before and after World War II, Hopi silversmiths developed their own sophisticated jewelry technique called overlay, which involves soldering together two pieces of metal. The artist begins by tracing a design onto a sheet of silver then saws out the design by hand, a difficult process requiring a high level of skill. The top piece is soldered to another layer of silver, and the bottom layer is oxidized to create a beautiful contrast with the highly polished top layer. Designs and patterns often incorporate traditional symbols, including sun, water, cornstalks, bear claws and the kokopelli. The overlay technique creates highly dimensional and detailed jewelry that demonstrates the remarkable craftsmanship of Hopi and Native American silversmiths.