artist RICK MANUEL Tohono O'odham Nation

Rick Manuel is one of only a few full time silversmiths from the Tohono O”odham tribe, who’s reservation is just West of Tucson, Arizona. His tribe is formerly known as the “Papago”.

His work is very distinct, featuring *sterling silver overlay with desert symbols from his culture”. *Sterling Silver Overlay is where a sheet of sterling silver has figures cut with a jewelers saw, and then that sheet is soldered to a back plate of sterling silver. Black contrast is added to accent the figures and cut-out work.

Out of the entire Tohono O’odham Nation, Rick was awarded the priviledge of creating a sterling silver bolo tie for the Pope, when he visited Sells, Arizona.

The metal Rick uses is sterling silver, which is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% alloy. Rick never marks his jewelry with a “sterling” mark. Rick’s comment to us is that if you know his work, he only uses sterling silver. His sterling silver earring hooks are hand twisted. They are not manufactured, as is the case with most earring hooks. Through purchasing Rick Manuel’s jewelry, you are helping support local Tucson Native American artisans.

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