the lopacki collection DANIEL LOPACKI SILVER WORK
DANIEL LOPACKI SILVER WORK


WELCOME TO DANIEL'S SILVERWORK
1978 - 2011

When I frist started to cut stone and do my mosaic work it soon became very clear that if I wanted to be able to market the stonework I was doing, I would need to learn metalsmithing. Fortunately my machinists background had already taught me the basics, and through trial and error I pretty much figured out everything that was required to accomplish any given project.

After I had been at Lapidary for about five years I met the person who would be the strongest influence in my goal to attain my metalsmithing ends.

The person was Michael Schmaltz of Gallup, New Mexico. Mike and I struck it off right from the start and had a long and interesting friendship. If there was ever a question regarding metalsmithing I knew I could talk to Mike about it and he would steer me in the right direction. Funny thing Mike would rarely show me exactly how something was done, he would just give me little titbits of his knowledge knowing that if I thought about what he was telling me and applied my own techniques I would find the results I was after.

Mike Schmaltz is one of the finest metalsmiths/lapidaries in the country and I bet you never knew his name until you read this.

Thanks Mike!

Boxes
Many times in my career I have had something catch my interest that I will refine over a period of time.
Below you will see this in the progression of boxes I made between 1978 - 1981


Very Early 1978 or 1979 Sterling Silver and Jewelers Saw Work Pill Box.


Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge


1979 Sterling Silver Pill Box.
Inlay is done with Turquoise, Lapis, Orange Spiny Oyster and Yellow MOP
About the size of a quarter.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge


1979 Sterling Silver "Hopi Overlay" Style saw work.
The design is a positive negative mirror image with circle line texture inside.
Approximate size 3 X 1 3/4 inche

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge


1980 Sterling Silver "Hopi Overlay" Style saw work. Top rim of triangle wire. Inlay done in Chalcosiderite, Jet, Turquoise and Red Coral. Top could be removed and worn on handmade chain that fit in box for storage.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry
Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge


1980 Sterling Silver "Hopi Overlay" Style saw work.
Top and bottom rim of triangle wire with circle line texture inside.
Inlay done in Chalcosiderite, Jet, Turquoise and Red Coral.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry
Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge


In 1981 I decided to combine the various Lapidary / Metalsmithing skills
I'd learned over the past three years to make the last box I have made since.

The box below was made in 1981 and sold almost as soon as it was completed.

I was honored to learn in 2010 that this box was included in a permanent collection

"The Helen Cox Kersting Collection of Southwestern Cultural Arts"

donated to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.

I was pleased to see that this box was given a full page image in the beautiful hard cover catalog of the collection.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry
Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge

This hex shaped box metalwork was constructed using sterling silver sheet, triangle wire and round wire and quite a few jewelers saw blades.

As with much of my early work I kept my color pallette to a minium. My desire at this time was to let the designs do the visuals not the colors being used.

In the ten mosaics I used only five materials. Turquoise, Red Coral, Jet, White MOP and orange spiny oyster.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry
Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge

\

Because I did not want to make just a box, I designed a necklace that the box top could be attached to.

You will notice that in fact there were four different combinations for wearing the necklace.

All Hopi Overlay, all mosaic, mosaic pendant Hopi overlay necklace and finally Hopi overlay pendant and mosaic necklace.

I even designed the necklace so it could be stored inside the box when not in use.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge

Bolo Ties
Early Nineties In the late eighties I started marketing quite a bit of what I was making in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
I was asked if I could make some out of the ordinary "Bolo Ties", the results are below.

Geometric Pattern Bolo Tie Sterling Silver, Gem Lapis, Green Faustite, Blue Turquoise, Sugilite and Opal Mosaic.

16 gage backplate with 18 gage strips for border, domed prior to Mosaic. Bolo slide made with 16 gage round wire.

Being the first bolo tips I'd made there was room for improvement but these weren't too bad..

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge


STAINED GLASS DESOGN

Sterling Silver,Black Jade, Green Jade, Sugilite, Turquoise, Orange Jasper and Opal.

It is hard to believe but there are 74 separate pieces of silver in the tips for this Bolo tie.

The bolo itself has 42 giving a grand total of 117 hand made silver pieces for construction.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge


MY PERSONAL FAVORITE

Mimbres Lizard Bolo Tie. Sterling Silver Chinese Spider web Turquoise, Faustite, Opal, Red Coral, Sugilite and Lapis.

The Silver work is done on 16 gage plate. The legs and toes are half round wire, the outline of the Lizard body is 18 gage strip.

After construction the silver work was domed prior to the inlay.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge


OPTICAL ILLUSION BOLO TIE

Sterling Silver, Green and Blue Turquoise, Orange and Red Spiny Oyster, Gem Lapis and Sugilite

Just trading for two Watchmakers lathes the tips for this Bolo Tie were lined with a cutting tool rather than stamping with a chisel.

The design in this Bolo Tie was repeated in other projects and is now the basis of my logo.

16 gage backplate with 18 gage strips for border, domed prior to Mosaic.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge

BRACELETS 1978 TO 2000

I rarely made rings but over the years I must have made hundreds of bracelets.

Below is what I think is a good selection of bracelets in silver.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge

HAMMERED SHANK BRACELETS

All bracelets below are made from hand poured silver ingots that are then hammered into a shaped shank

usually thicker at the top and thinner near the opening.

Late 80's early to 90's

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Early Hammered Bracelet Sterling Silver Damalie Turquoise

Click image to enlarge

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Early Hammered Bracelet Sterling Silver Beautiful Hard Rock Chinese TurquoiseThis turquoise would rival the best #8

Click image to enlarge

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry
Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Early Hammered Bracelet Sterling Silver Beautiful Hard Rock Chinese Turquoise enter of shank cut out with chisel.

Click image to enlarge

The bracelets below were made near the time I stopped making
"Hammered Silver" I just wish that I had better images.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

All bracelets have 21 matched handcut cabochons

Click image to enlarge

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Above bracelets Lapis, Chalcosiderite and Hard Rock Chinese Turquoise.

Click image to enlarge

ROW BRACELETS

Sterling Silver Row Bracelet 55 stone Blue Gem Turquoise.

All stones came from a single vein so they match pattern as they cross the face of the bracelet

1986?

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry
Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge


Sterling Silver Row Bracelet 33 stone Dayglow Green Faustite

One of the last "Old Style" pieces I made. Early 90's

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge


A TRUE CATALOG OF HIGH GRADE CHINESE TURQUOISE

This row bracelet came back to me at the 2013 Tucson gem and mineral show.

Suzi and I were at a friends booth visiting when our friend Art Seymour who was watching our room called me and

said there was a person in the room that had one of my bracelets and it was for sale.

While walking back to the room my thoughts were that this person had one of my "Bread and Butter" pieces.

We got to the room when we walked in Art said there's Danny. The person walked toward me and handed me this bracelet. I was floored I did not remember this bracelet at all.

My guess is I made this bracelet in the early 1990's but I can't say for sure.

The turquoise is all Chinese high grade, this is a true catalog of all the wonderful looks that came from mostly the main mine.

You can see almost any known US mine look in the turquoise in this bracelet. Other stone in the bracelet Sugilite, Lapis and an orange

red jasper.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry
Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry
Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge

DOVETAIL SET BRACELETS

Early on this style was hand made.

I used 16 guage sterling as a base then soldered fine silver hand drawn 1/4 round for the stone.

The shank pattern was done with hand drawn sterling 1/2 round

There were a few bracelets of this design cast one or two in 18K a few others in Sterling.

It's easy to spot the cast form handmade, on the handmade you can see a tiny solder joint

where the 1/4 round contacts the shank,on the cast there is no line.




Left: Lapis,Chrysophrase and Red Agate.

Right: Best Blue to Green Chinese Spider web Turquoise from stone in center.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge

Left: Green and Blue Turquoise with Sugilite

Center: Chinese Turquoise, Lapis,Nephrite Jade Red and Yellow Agate.

Right: Northern Light "Nevada" Turquoise and Red Agate.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge


A friend walked into my shop with a carry-on size suitcase, he had just come in from Taiwan.

He opened it and inside I saw the best pile of Japanese Coral I'll probably ever see.

He wanted me to help him clean it and sell it.

I did manage to get enough to make this color change bracelet in all the shades he had, from the

palest pink to the most beautiful Ox Blood Translucent Red Coral you'll ever see.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge


PINS
I made quite a few pins over the years and hope to add more images in the near future

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

I was just learning raising techniques and clean stamp work at this time.

At this time I had not yet learned to use heavy gauge if you want it to look right.

I just used 20 gauge plate for these pins.


Click image to enlarge


20 gauge again. Cleaner deeper stamping the use of the Turquoise and applied silver dots much improved the look.

One drawback, I was using commercial stamps. On my later work all the stamps used were handmade,

either by myself or antique stamps I found in pawn shops.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge


I was visiting with a friend John Hornbeck whom for years I have called the " Spiny Oyster King ".

We were up in his shop and I saw a very old post card tacked on his wall. The post card had an image of a Zuni Shalako,

around the Shalakos neck was a pendant that gave me the idea for the pin below.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

The silver was probably 16 guage with minium stamping about 3 inches across.

The mosaic work is done with Gem quality Chinese turquoise, Jet, MOP and Red Spiny Oyster.

1993?

Click image to enlarge


One of the earliest influences for my designs was the Mimbres culture which was located in southwest NM.

Funny thing is I now live in southwest NM almost right on top of where this culture lived.


Sometime in the early 90's I designed four different Mimbres inspired pins.

I never kept any of the pins but got very lucky a while back and found three of them on Ebay.

The four designs a dragon fly, a frog, an inch worm and a fish.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Lapis, Northern light turquoise and Angel skin coral.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Yellow MOP, Jet, Red and orange spiny oyster

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Royston turquoise


Click image to enlarge


COLLABORATION

I only collaborated on a few items in my career, all with Mike Schmaltz.

As I have stated, Mike is a master at what he does and few approach his feel for "Old Style" Silver smithing as shown in the image below.


Mike and I were looking at this silverwork one day and I think I said I could do a Killer mosaic in it, he handed me the buckle and said have at it.

Well the pressure was on what do I put in this beautiful Silverwork. Old Style Navajo what better than an early Chiefs Blanket in the center.

The stone in the mosaic is Turquoise, White Jadeite, Black Nephrite, Yellow Jasper and Red Agate. I remember the stonework width being about 2.1 inches

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge


CAROLYN’S BRACELET

I got a call from a friend/customer asking if I wanted to buy back a bracelet I had made for her in 1991. I asked her to send an image of it which she did.

When I saw the image I told Suzi that I did not remember the bracelet and wondered if I had made it.

I asked Carolyn if she would send the bracelet so I could view it in hand, she said sure and it arrived a

few days later........ Well seeing as though it had my "lopacki" stamp on it, I for sure had made it.

This bracelet is one of the last "Old Style" pieces I made, I was very pleased to be able to buy it back as it is one of

my finest. The turquoise is high grade Chinese and the cabs were cut from the same piece of rough so they match.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry
Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry
Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Click image to enlarge


This is the last old style piece I worked on prior to going pretty much all high karat gold.

I did do a few special requests after this but never sat down with “old style” as a choice.

My nephew Doug Silva was working with me at the time and was quite the metal smith.

I am 99% sure Doug did the silver work on this bracelet.

Once I had the bracelet to play with I wanted to do some extra special inlay in the open channel.

I first did the rainbow pattern flat and polished leaving an open area for further bump out inlay.

Once the flat was polished I did the bump out work using gem grade Chinese turquoise.

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry
Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry
Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

Stone used Lapis, orange and red spiny oyster, northern light lime green turquoise,

Morenci turquoise and high grade Chinese turquoise

Click image to enlarge


ALLAN'S BUTTERFLY

A good friend whom I was involved with in the early years of "Chinese Turquoise" brought four slabs of beautiful Chinese spider web to my shop.

Ron wants to treat this! What do you think?

I told him that I thought Ron was nut's and that if he left the stone with me I'd make him something "Killer" out of the slabs

Daniel Lopacki Silver Work, Daniel Lopacki mosaic shells, Daniel Lopacki jewelry

The above pin was at the height of my "Old Style" work. It was made sometime in the early to mid 90's.

The base plate is 16 gauge all bezel is hand filed saw tooth fine silver, with very fine gauge wire twist wire.

The serrated shot is handmade with the use of an antique hand made Navajo shot plate (best shot I've ever seen).

The feelers are made using 18 gauge half round and a very tiny V stamp for texture and tipped with a silver ball pounded flat. The three applied pieces of silver were 18 gauge.

The eyes are Northern Light Dayglow Green turquoies, the wings are the rock Ron wanted to treat....... It never got treated.

I gave this pin to Allan as a gift then some years later I saw it in an article about Turquoise in Cowboys and Indian magazine.

Apparently Ron decided to take over possession of the pin as he was the one who laid claim to it in the article.

I made it for Allan and as far as I am concerned it will always be Allan's pin.