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SALE: Reduced to $90, originally $145.
I've been fascinated by the ancient rock art of the Southwest for many years, and have begun to explore ways to incorporate its designs into my work. This solid sterling ring has several frequently seen symbols rendered in silver, along with a beautiful Nevada turquoise.
The ring resembles the tufa-cast silver pieces done by Native artisans (long-time favorites of mine), but mine is entirely fabricated out of several soldered layers. I hand-cut each tiny symbol with a saw and filed them, and then torch soldered them onto a large, curved backplate that had been hammered on desert rock for its texture. The zigzag is often associated with water, with meandering rivers and streams, and lightning and snakes (which in themselves are also strongly associated with water). Water is life here in the desert, so it's no surprise that water-related images and ceremonies are paramount to survival. The tiny chevron at the lower left is also a water symbol. The little cross represents a star, and is sometimes also associated with eagle feathers and the sun. Ancient people would watch the stars to know when to conduct ceremonies, plant, and harvest. Sometimes beautiful clusters of these star-crosses have been found painted or pecked into the roofs of caves.
The turquoise is from the Pilot Mountain Mine in Nevada, one of my favorite mines. It has a lovely, creamy greenish-blue hue that doesn't quite come through in the photo, even though I enhanced the green a bit when I edited them in Photoshop. It's a light, clear color that you just want to dive into and eat up. The matrix is a red brown that sets off the turquoise beautifully. The turquoise is natural and has not been treated or enhanced in any way.
The shank on the back of the ring is heavy sterling, lightly hammered around the edges, and torch soldered to a solid platform for extra strength. It is wider at the top than at the bottom, which makes for a very comfortable and stable fit.
I hand-cut all of the silver elements, and they were hand worked and sanded down to a soft, worn finish. The silver was also oxidized to bring out the designs.
You'll want to wear this ring everywhere!
Size: Ring size 7. The outer backplate of the ring measures 1 3/8" x 1", and the stone is 3/8" high.
Care: Turquoise is one of the softer stones and should not be exposed to harsh chemicals or detergents. Clean the ring by washing in lukewarm water, and dry with a soft cloth. The silver can be polished with a silver polishing cloth.
Ancient Ways will arrive giftwrapped in a hand-decorated, reuseable box, along with a handwritten descriptive label.