Gilbert "Dino" Garcia is one of only a handful of working silversmiths at Santo Domingo Pueblo. He works with both silver and gold and specializes in casting his pieces in hand-carved tufa stone moulds. Dino's pieces, however, are different from those of most sandcast artists. Dino uses a soft tufa (learn more about Tufa) which he digs at a location in Arizona shown to him by his grandfather. This soft tufa allows Dino to carve particularly detailed designs in the stone, but the very softness of the stone means that each mould is only good for casting one piece. Each of his pieces is truly a one-of-a-kind work because the mould itself is destroyed when the cast piece is removed from it (see the photo above of a mould after the piece was removed)
After carving his mould and prior to pouring molten Sterling into it, Dino blackens the inside of the mould by using his acetylene torch. Normally, an acetylene torch is used with a combination flow of acetylene and oxygen. The oxygen makes the flame burn hotter, but also aids in burning off the carbon. Dino lights his torch with only the acetylene flow turned on and, in the absence of oxygen to burn off the carbon, the inside of the mould is blackened. Then he pours his molten silver into the mould and the carbon fuses with the silver surface and creates a nice contrast in the deep-carved parts of the mould. After cleaning up the cast piece and buffing it, the raised motifs are shiny and the nooks and crannies are blackened.
Dino's rings of this style are usually 1/4" wide, sometimes 5/16" wide. We commisioned a group of rings 3/8" wide which, while maintaining their unisex attraction, might be just a bit better for men than the narrower bands.
Width of band: 3/8"
Size: 11 1/2