Jeff De Ment - Navajo (Dine')
I am often asked how I got into Silversmithing. I jokingly say “I love shiny things,” or I mention going to galleries as a kid seeing beautiful Turquoise & Silver jewelry. The truth is, after my military combat experiences and being injured in the line of duty, Silversmithing has given me new purpose and a reason to live. Silversmithing saved my life. I put my heart and soul into my work. When I say my work is personal, you better believe it is. My work is an outlet for pure emotion. I am Dine’ (Navajo). My story is long. No matter where I go or what I do, I will never forget the hard lessons of my past. For me life has come full circle, from innocent childhood to military combat, death, destruction and violence, and now an opportunity to bring beauty and a sense of peace back into the world through traditional Silversmithing…. My work is completely hand-crafted using a traditional technique called Tufa Casting that dates back over 200 years. My original designs are hand carved into Tufa Stone, a compressed volcanic ash, to create a mold. I melt and pour molten silver to form each piece. After annealing, the silver is hand cut, filed, formed, and fabricated. I use the hand carved Tufa Stone molds only once, making each and every piece a true one of a kind. Turquoise and Silver for the modern day warrior.