Recently a customer ordered a shadowbox item from our store and when she received it, she was shocked saying “but it is hollow, it is not solid !!” We used the term shadowbox in the description and showed all kinds of views revealing the construction but perhaps if a person has never seen a shadowbox, he or she might not know what they are looking at and what to expect.
A common jewelry technique used by Navajo and other Native American silversmiths to add interest and layering to a piece is a shadowbox.
The shadowbox technique consists of a cutout top layer that is usually domed and that is soldered to a solid bottom layer.
The cutout design on the top can vary from paw prints to kokopelli to blanket designs – limited only by the designer’s imagination.
The bottom layer might be left bright silver or oxidized to give a dark contrast to the cutout design.
Stones are often set into the shadowbox – some artists let the stones protrude somewhat out of the top of the shadowbox and others use stones that when set are flush with the cutout layer.