Sandcast Bolo Tie
Sandcast Bolo Tie with Kingman Turquoise center stone on Leather with Sterling Silver Tips is made by Gary Custer, a Navajo artist. The Sandcast Bolo slide measures 2-1/2 inches long and 2 inches wide. The length of the leather is 19-1/2 inches.
Sandcasting as a jewelry-making technique used by the Pueblo peoples of the Southwest dates back to the mid-seventeenth century. Silversmithing techniques were brought to the New World by the Spanish and taught to the people of Mexico. By the 1850s, Native peoples in the Four Corners area had acquired some silver work from Mexican craftsmen through trading. Wanting to know the art themselves, they traded livestock in exchange for silversmithing lessons. One of the techniques taught to the Navajo (who then passed it on to the Zuni who passed it on to the Hopi) was the practice of creating a mold out of sand—sandcasting.
Every sandcast piece is truly original because the mold is destroyed by the poured silver.
Unlike sterling silver pieces by many commercial jewelry makers that shine, sandcasting leaves a matte finish, giving the silver a sense of the antique.