skip to Main Content

Hopi Jewelry: Silver Overlay

Explore the uniquely classic Hopi technique of silver overlay metalsmithing. Overlay as a technique for conveying traditional Hopi designs in silver originated in 1938 from drawings produced at the Museum of Northern Arizona and continued in Fred Kabotie’s (noted former Idyllwild Arts faculty) silver designs for the World War II veterans classes held from 1947-1951. Silver overlay designs are created using multiple sheets (layers) of silver with hand cut-out designs. These layers are textured, and recessed layers are oxidized. Top layers are finely polished to create a contrast in silverwork. In this workshop you will complete at least two small to medium works of art. You may consider making a bracelet, ring, pendant, belt buckle, small pair of earrings. Close instruction means this workshop is well-suited for all levels of students. Ronald, your instructor will discuss the evolution of styles from traditional to contemporary. You are encouraged to draw inspiration from Ronald’s stories and insights, or draw from your ideas, insights, and experiences.

Note: With the many techniques in silversmithing to be covered throughout this workshop, you will be encouraged to start two pieces and focus entirely on finishing at least one to take home at the end of the week.

Beginners: Learn about silversmithing’s primary materials, processes, and techniques.

Intermediate/Advanced: If you have some experience, you will fine-tune your skills while mastering new techniques and designs.

  • Silver Casting Grain, 4 oz. minimum (this will be enough for a pendant, small buckle, or narrow bracelet)
  • Closed-toe shoes, and hair tie or way to keep hair pulled back (studio safety)
  • Crucible (preferred: high back dish crucible, short handle OR salamander clay crucible 4 ¼ x 3 ¾”, both available at Rio Grande Jewelry Supply.
  • Ceramic tools (metal), dental tools – to make into your tools
  • OptiVisor
  • Hand tools: files, saw frame, hammers, pliers (round, flat, or needle nose), and any other basic tools you like to use.
  • Small work lamp
  • Seat cushion

Note: Please make sure all materials are clearly marked and identified!
Tufa stone and some silver sheet will be available for purchase.

Roy Talahaftewa (Hopi, Water Clan) is from Shungopovi Village in Arizona. He works in silver and gold and uses Hopi overlay and tufa casting in his designs. Roy received the first major award for his work in 1981 and has earned Best of Show at the Heard Museum, among many other juried competitions. Working with the nonprofit Hopi Pu’tavi Project, Roy teaches Hopi youth the art of metalsmithing, and he is an advocate and promoter of Hopi artists on the reservation.

Native American & Inland Empire Teacher Scholarships 

We recently made some changes to our scholarship application process.

Generous donors have made scholarships and fellowships for adult workshops available on a limited basis for these specific groups:

  1. Native American Community Leaders, Artists, Members, and Teachers
  2. Inland Empire Teachers, Professors, and Graduate Students

Scholarships include tuition, lab fee, dorm housing, and all meals provided by the campus dining service. We believe in allowing everyone a chance to experience the transformative power of art at Idyllwild Arts. In order to reach as many as possible with this opportunity we are happy to extend each applicant one scholarship. These scholarships are designed to provide access to arts based educational opportunities that will advance your personal and professional development as well as the Indigenous community(ies) you come from. You are responsible for paying the $50 application fee and transportation to and from campus. A short essay (200 to 750 words) expressing how this opportunity will benefit you and your community is required, we want to hear from you! We also ask that you provide screenshots of your last two W2s so that the scholarship committee can identify financial need and assess the scholarship amount to be offered. We are pleased to offer scholarships in two categories.

  • Full Scholarship: students receive meals, housing, and tuition and lab fee (room and board if applicable).
  • Half Scholarship: students receive approximately half off their tuition (room and board if applicable)

For more detailed information and a Scholarship FAQ please read Adult Scholarships FAQs.

Scholarship Details: 

  1. Native American Community Members, Leaders, Artists, and Teachers
    For adults 19 and older with current tribal affiliation, the scholarship brings community leaders, artists, members, and teachers to workshops at Idyllwild Arts to benefit both the scholarship recipients themselves and those in their schools or tribal communities. Applicants who demonstrate financial need may receive priority. We also offer scholarships for Native American Teens for both the Summer Program and the Academy.
  2. Inland Empire Teachers, Professors, and Graduate Students
    For teachers and graduate students from the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and the adjacent areas), this scholarship brings teachers and graduate students to Idyllwild Arts to attend Native American Arts workshops. The Native American Arts Workshops benefit both recipients and their students and communities, providing culturally appropriate instruction and professional development to teachers and graduate students. Applicants with financial needs may receive priority. These scholarships are made possible through the generous support of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians.

Click here for more information about adult scholarships.

Age: 19 years and above

Dates: June 19-23, 2023
One-week session

Tuition, room, and board: $1,719

Day student tuition: $840

Lab Fee: $80
Includes use of all tools, equipment, and consumables such as solder and compounds

Skill Level: All levels

Enrollment is limited to 12 students.

Faculty: Ronald Wadsworth

Back To Top