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Steve Wikviya LaRance

Renowned Hopi artist Steve Wikviya LaRance is from the village of Munquapi on the Third Mesa. There, he learned the traditional arts of carving kachina dolls, making bows and arrows and working with silver. After high school, Steve moved to Flagstaff to study business, but left school to work full time as an artist and eventually attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.

LaRance often works with his wife Navajo/Tewa artist Marian Denipah. Their beautifully executed tufa cast jewelry has won numerous awards and can be found in collections worldwide. In the traditional Hopi tufa casting method, the design for the piece is carved in reverse into tufa, a soft volcanic stone, using precision tools. The two-part mold is assembled, then molten sterling silver or gold is poured in. The cooled casting is removed from the mold, bent into shape, finished and polished. The cast is typically broken in the process of removing the casting, so all pieces are one of a kind. LaRance then finishes his pieces with the finest quality stones.

In 2004, LaRance received a Smithsonian Artist Fellowship Award and his work is shown at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.