Tommy grew up on the Navajo Reservation and was taught silversmithing by his father, beginning at the age of seven. In the 1960s he invented the “chip-inlay” technique of using turquoise or coral chips in this silverwork. This technique has become widespread in his community. He also became well known for his silver overlay and signature bead design jewelry.
When asked about his work, Singer said,”Every piece is made with the various meanings from my traditional ways – the Navajo way of living. My father was a silversmith, too. He taught me, and wanted me to continue this trade. It was my father’s dream that I learn to silversmith so that I could continue his beliefs.
Our family has been blessed with working with Tommy and his family for years, and have continued with working with his wife Rosie and son Richard since Tommy’s passing in 2014.
Tommy Singer’s legacy lives on in his intricate and detailed work. His Navajo designs echo not just in each piece but also through the craftsmanship of Rosie and Richards work as well.
The son of the late world renowned Silversmith, Thomas SInger, is carrying on his father’s legacy. Richard is now one of the Ta’neez zahnii (tangle) Clan, born for the Kinyaa’a’anii (Tower House) Clan.
Richard is from Standing Horse, Dileon, Arizona. He is a family man with a wife and daughter.
Richard takes pride that he is the one son of numerous siblings that has picked up his father’s trade, and his father always commended him for this achievement.
You will find Richards work throughout our stores, and you will become to cherish the uniqueness of his style and fall in love with his work.
Phil was born in San Felipe, Pueblo in New Mexico in 1951. He was raised on a
large ranch along with 8 sisters and 5 brothers. Together they tended all sorts of
livestock and farmed lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. He has stayed close to his
roots with livestock of his own, and he still enjoys horseback riding to check up on
his livestock or just go for a ride at sunset.
His father made turquoise necklaces from natural nuggets to sell, but it was his
older brother who got him interested in silver work. Phil started to work with
silver in junior high school. It was there he learn the basics of jewelry making and
crafting. He continued to work on jewelry throughout his high school years
perfecting his technique.
His brother and father instilled the value in him to always stay true to his culture,
and that shows in his jewelry designs where he uses clouds and rain along with
other symbols which can also be seen on the traditional baskets and pottery from
Phil loves to travel and see different parts of the country. In his travels, he has
visited Canada a number of times. He also likes to go fishing, hunting and just
about any activity that gets him outdoors. He speaks a number of Native
American Pueblo dialects including San Felipe, Santa Domingo, Acoma, Zia,
Laguna and Cochiti.
He signs his work “P. Sanchez”.
South Dakota Artist
Many of you have known my family and or been in our stores but maybe you have not heard the story of how I started making jewelry.
I’ve been involved in the jewelry business for over 50 years and had always been intrigued in the craftsmanship and artistry of our Native American Artist. Ten years ago while in Arizona I spent the winter taking silver smithing classes and became immediately passionate in making jewelry.
Over the years I have worked with numerous Native American Artist and have learned many techniques from them, most of the jewelry I make is Native American influenced. I have a love for turquoise but also try and incorporate local stones that are native to South Dakota as well. I have sold several pieces of my jewelry in our stores but most of what I have made is gifted to friends and my family. For the first time we are offering some of my work online. I hope you enjoy looking through it and keep an eye out for new pieces as I continue my artistry.