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Sandcast Indigenous American Indian Jewelry

Sandcast Native American Indian jewelry making was first introduced by Navajo silversmiths in early days around 1840. The process begins with a sandcast, or tufa stone shape, then carving the look to the stone. With this shape, a piece of gold jewelry is made and could become the master theme from which all other sandcast jewelry pieces of the same design are produced.Sandcast jewelry making is done manually and is quite labor intensive. The Sandcasting technique requires the merchants about three times to create a good sized medium bracelet.Sandcast jewelry building was introduced by utilizing sandstone or tufa stone. Tufa rock is created from crushed volcanic ash which is relatively smooth and better to assist than sandstone when making the designs. However Sandstone can last much better, but the Tufa stone is is the choice among Silversmith since the soft stone is simpler to carve.There are several operations involved in Sandcast jewelry making prior to the jewelry piece is completed. The artist begins by cutting a stone in to two pieces and grinding both halves until both halves are easy using one side. The tufa stone may also be steeped in water to help keep the dust to the absolute minimum while digging. Next, ports are etched in to the stone outward towards the sides of the stone to ensure that the extremely hot air from the molten gold may have an escape from being caught in the shape, thus harming the jewelry design. The alternative requires heating the mold with a torch forming carbon on the inside the halves stopping the gold from attaching to the mold when the halves are divided. Eventually the mold is able to begin the silver casting.The halves of the tufa stone are placed alongside the fill routes aimed. The, artisans use a number of techniques, such as covering with cable, plywood table and clamps, or rubber straps tightly round the halves to help keep them protected while pouring the molten silver.The gold is then heated in a with a torch until it’s at a warm of 1850 degrees. Typically, temperature was evaluated by the color of the molten silver. That’s still the most common approach used by several artisans currently, but now use crucibles that where the warmth is electronically controlled. This increases the chance for an effective pour. The heat of the outside air must also be taken into consideration. If it’s cold, the silver can become too cool before it goes through the form. When the silver is judged to be warm enough, it’s poured into the mold through the carved channel.The molten silver is then poured down through the station and into the carved mold. Hence the item is thought to have already been gravity throw. The tufa rock mold is permitted to cool and the gold piece is removed.A tufa mold may possibly allow many pours when the design is not at all hard and small. With larger, more technical designs, one or two cups is normally all that can be made from a tufa shape before the rock breaks or the style is destroyed by the heat of the silver. The artist at this point may determine that the jewelry piece received from the Tufa shape will be in need and begin the means of making molds of the more stronger Sandstone.After the jewelry piece has cooled, polishing the finished jewelry is done in two stages. First the silver piece is polished wax and then washed to get rid of the extra wax. Next the jewelry piece is dry slick with buckskin or perhaps a dry cloth wheel, and finally, rocks, if any, are set. Tufa and sandcasting functions are very labor intensive, taking several hours to make the mold, then making the design in to the two rocks, depending on the detail. The finished piece have cost the artisan much time which should be considered in establishing the price of jewelry produced by the sancast jewelry making method.

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