This Turtle piece is a traditional Hopi piece in the overlay style. The Hopi artist here is Augustine Mowa and her trademark is a moon, a star and a sun. It is constructed from two layers of sterling silver. The design is traced on a sheet of silver and is then painstakingly cut with a jeweler's saw all by hand. The top layer is then soldered to the other bottom layer sheet of silver. Texture is later added to the bottom layer in all the open areas of the design using a hammer and a punch, 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.
Hopi workmanship is spectacular in its unique style, look for precise cuts of the design elements and for detailed punch marks in the recessed matted areas of the design.