Robert or Bob Burkett has been called the finest beadmaker in America, is one of the world’s most renown jewelry and bead makers. He works primarily in silver and shibuichi (pronounced SHEW-BOO-EEE-CHEE), a Japanese process where silver is mixed with copper to produce stunning arrays of color and form.
His unique lost wax cast pendants and beads are cast of 20% silver and 80% copper in a Japanese style called shibuichi. He freehand carves his originals, using them to cast from. Bob goes completely from memory when sculpting the animals and forms. He sculpts the body and wings in red sculpting wax then carefully creates a one-of-a-kind mold, then hand casts the molten metal using a centrifuge. Working in shibuichi is tricky and very few artists attempt it as it results in very high detail with a wonderful coppery patina, but is notoriously more difficult to work with than bronze or copper alone.