The Hopi, as did other peoples of the Southwest, learned metal working from the Spanish. Until post World War II, Hopi silver work
was primarily cast or stamped. During the 1940's the Hopi developed a unique style called overlay (this term comes from the method by which the jewelry is constructed).
Hopi overlay is constructed from two layers of sterling silver. A design is traced on a sheet of silver and
is then painstakingly cut out with a jeweler's saw by hand. This top design layer is then silver soldered to another sheet, the bottom layer, of silver. Texturing is added to the bottom layer
in all the open areas of the design using a hammer and a small punch. The piece is then trimmed to it's final shape and size. Next the assembled item is hammered into its final form,
contoured, and blackened to enhance the negative areas of the design. The top surface is then buffed to either a matte-like satin finish or to a mirror-like high polish.