Lawrence Saufkie (1935-2011), Hopi Pueblo, Bear Clan, was the son of Paul Saufkie Sr. and Ruby Saufkie and brother of Andrew Saufkie, Paul Saufkie, Jr., Vaughn Saufkie; husband of Griselda Saufkie; father of Wilmer Saufkie Lomayaoma; uncle of Bob Sekakuku.
Lawrence learned silverwork, particularly overlay, from his father Paul Saufkie Sr. His father and Fred Kaboutie began perfecting this style in the 1930s and when Hopi soldiers returned from World War II, they began teaching them the method.
What is Overlay?
With silver overlay, there are two layers of silver. The top layer is a scene, figures, or symbols meticulously cut out and then place on a solid silver layer.
The bottom layer is the background behind the cutouts and is traditionally darkened (oxidized) for contrast. In addition the same areas are usually etched with hashmarks.
The two layers are “sweated” together – that is, the silver is heated so that the two layers meld.
The result is a 3-D picture with great depth and interest.
Throughout his life, Lawrence was a great ambassador of Hopi jewelry and a teacher to many.
His hallmark is a bear and SAUFKIE like this
Lawrence Saufkie was a Hopi silversmith for more than 60 years. In 1998, he was recognized by the American Museum of Natural History for his contributions to this art form and was the recipient of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts Lifetime Achievement Award.
Lawrence Saufkie was designated an Arizona Living Treasure in 2002. He has been featured in numerous magazines and books and his work has been collected by museums such as the Heard Museum, the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Peabody Museum, and Harvard University.