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J 1139 Jack Tom

Tufa Cast Yei Bolo

Price: $995.00
 
Description

Tufa cast sterling silver Yei Bi Chai bolo tie by Navajo silversmith Jack Tom. The 1” x 3” bolo with a silver overlay Yei Bi Chai has a triangular Morenci Turquoise.

The Yei Bi Chai are the dancers that represent the Yei (Navajo Holy People). The bolo is on 34” braided leather with silver sleeves and tips.

Tufa casting is a technique of pouring molten silver into a tufa stone mold and letting it harden into a given form.  The mold is only used once; therefore each item is an original piece.

Morenci Turquoise is mined in Southeastern Arizona.  The turquoise has a unique matrix of irregular black pyrite.  When polished, the matrix appears to be silver. It was one of the first turquoise to appear on the American market. The mine is depleted, making Morenci one of the more rare turquoise.

Jack Tom was born in 1948 at Keams Canyon, Arizona.  He began making jewelry in 1971. In 1979, while working on the railroad, Jack was struck by lightning. He returned home to his father, a Medicine Man, who performed a Shooting Way ceremony.  This restored Jack’s health and harmony.  Therefore, he uses a lot of lightning patterns in his jewelry.  His great-grandmother was Hopi so he uses Hopi patterns as well as the traditional Navajo designs.  He also incorporates Navajo rug patterns and Anasazi patterns in his work.  He believes the “Old Ones” left their designs for others (him) to use.

About the artist

Jack Tom

Jack Tom is an award-winning silversmith most well-known for his gold overlay on silver jewelry, impeccable execution and the finest stones in both traditional and contemporary designs.

Jack Tom was born of the Salt Clan and for the Bitter Water Clan in 1948 at Smoke Signal in Keams Canyon, Arizona on the Navajo reservation.   He began his jewelry career in 1971 and continues to produce beautiful work with his distinctive blend of 14k gold and silver or silver with stones. It was also the year Mary Begay and Jack Tom were married. Mary started making jewelry by fabricating the beads that display Jack’s pendants. Mary assisted in the creation process as well which aided in completing a joint design style linking their rich heritage and the 21st Century.

Until recently, he and his wife Mary made some of the most striking contemporary necklaces and earrings to be found today. They are no longer married, but each continues to create wonderful pieces on his and her own.

Jack has a deep appreciation and respect for his ancient Navajo heritage and the symbols of his rich culture. Jack composes his craft by incorporating ancient symbols with contemporary images for a distinct look to his pieces. 

Jack is self-taught silversmith. He began his artist career by working for a small jewelry shop in Holbrook, Arizona. He worked as a buffer and did small tasks for other silversmiths. After working as a welder and in other construction related jobs, in 1985 he decided to take his creative ideas and become his own artist. He began with traditional Navajo designs. Over the years, his jewelry has evolved into great detail, high quality, and unique designs that incorporate 14 kt gold, sterling silver, turquoise, corals, and opals. 

Jack is self-taught silversmith. He began his artist career by working for a small jewelry shop in Holbrook, Arizona. He worked as a buffer and did small tasks for other silversmiths. After working as a welder and in other construction related jobs, in 1985 he decided to take his creative ideas and become his own artist. He began with traditional Navajo designs. Over the years, his jewelry has evolved into great detail, high quality, and unique designs that incorporate 14 kt gold, sterling silver, turquoise, corals, and opals.

Today, Jack is always looking for new techniques to learn such as tufa casting, texture rolling (which he learned from Zuni silversmith Martin Panteah), and sandblasting so to express his creative ideas in multiple ways. The sandblasting provides an alternative to the normal mirror-finish polish most silversmiths give to the back of their work. The changes are part of the process that allows his work to continue to evolve and enchant.

In 1979, while working on the railroad, Jack was struck by lightning. He returned home to his father, a Medicine Man, who performed a Shooting Way ceremony.  This restored Jack’s health and harmony.  Therefore, he uses a lot of lightning patterns in his jewelry. 

His great-grandmother was Hopi so he uses Hopi patterns as well as the traditional Navajo designs.  He also incorporates Navajo rug patterns and Anasazi patterns in his work.  He believes the “Old Ones” left their designs for others (him) to use.

About Bischoff's

Bischoff's Gallery opened in 1999. The gallery, located in historic Old town Scottsdale, Arizona carries work by Native American, western, and southwestern artists. Known for it's collection of Native American Jewelry, Bischoff's also offers a selection of Navajo rugs, kachinas, pottery, baskets and fine art from artisans of many tribes...

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Opening Hours

Tuesday – Saturday 9am – 5:30pm and all other times by appointment.

Customer Service

Contact Bischoff's

Bischoff's Gallery

3925 N Brown Ave • Scottsdale, AZ • 85251

Phone: 480 946 6155

Fax: 480 945 3583

Email: sales@bischoffsouthwestart.com