Not too long ago we didn't have to even ask if jewelry was handmade. The jeweler handed down his craft from generation to generation. Crafter's spent time creating and designing unique works of art from start to finish. In today's world it's hard to find this type of craftsmanship and quality in the products we buy. If we do we end up spending substantially more amounts of money.
Most Native American Silversmiths and craftsman have perfects the techniques for creating handmade quality jewelry to put on the market in the most cost effective way possible. We will take you though a short explanation in how some of the Native American Jewelry is created.
The Basic Process
It all begins in the mind. What you want. What design or symbol you would like to create. First the silversmith will draw out the design in a sketch. After the sketch is finished and finalized the cutting begins out of a thin sheet of sterling silver the size of the piece of jewelry. Then a spray is applied to the jewelry to help with the layout so the silversmith can sketch the design in the the sprayed coating. When the design is transferred on to the silver a small hole is drilled into the silver where the design will be cut. The hole is then opened by the use of the jewelers saw to make cutting the design possible. After the design is finished being cut a second piece of silver is cut about the same size as the first, but no design is cut into this piece of silver. Then the jeweler can solder the first piece onto the second and give it a backing. The edged of the piece are then trimmed and the background is given a slight texture with a stamp. The textured background can them be oxidized and polished.