Native American Harry Begay Cuff
Harry Begay is one of the most renowned silversmiths of his generation certainly, and an argument could be made for one of the most well known of all time. His reputation rests on his tireless dedication to perfection, and a reliance on old world techniques that shine through in his singular, pristine work.
He started smithing in the early to mid 70's and shortly after began to employ a style called "ingot work". This refers to techniques used when Navajos first learned the silversmithing craft from Spaniards. It uses no pre-fab silver, instead Harry melts scrap down into an ingot and begins the long process of heating, hammering, and reheating to create the structure and shape he is looking for. Additional wires used for designs are then hand pulled through an iron block. This meticulous and time consuming process was already something of a lost art in the 70s, and now Harry Begay's pieces are looked upon as the epitome of what can be achieved through these techniques.
The time and skill required to make his pieces ensure that his work is always scarce. The quality of work, selection of the highest grade gemstones, and rarity all combine to make Harry Begay's jewelry highly sought after.