This highly detailed sterling silver cuff bracelet is a remarkable example of the silver overlay technique developed by Hopi silversmiths. In this classic piece handcrafted by Hopi artist Sidney Sahnea, an elegant cutout design depicts the vine of life, honoring nature’s many gifts. The polished top layer of sterling silver contrasts beautifully with the oxidized silver beneath, adding depth and dimension. Versatile and lasting, this masterful cuff bracelet honors the traditions and culture of the Hopi people.
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.