Tommy Singer, Navajo
About Tommy Singer
Tommy Singer (1940-2014), was the son of a Navajo medicine man who taught him the art of making jewelry. Tommy grew up in a small community of Dilcon on the Navajo Reservation and began his silversmith career at age 21 by making silver overlay jewelry. He soon added turquoise stones to his work and this led to his inovation in the 1970s of the chip inlay method, where small pieces of turquoise and coral are mixed with epoxy to fill cavities in silver pieces. Chip inlay became very popular and continues to be used by countless Native American artists to this day.
Besides using traditional rug and sandpainting designs in his work Tommy made exceptional storyteller pieces in sterling silver and gold overlay. His colorful bead necklaces, which include many different stones as well as gold and silver barrel beads, are highly prized. Tommy Singer was one of the most accomplished and most popular Native American artists and his work is admired and collected the world over.
What is Storyteller Jewelry?
Storyteller jewelry, typically bracelets, pendants and pins, are made using the sterling silver overlay method, sometimes incorporating gold in the overlay. Two layers comprise the jewelry - the top layer is a scene, figures, or symbols meticulously cut out and then placed over a solid bottom layer. The bottom layer is the background behind the cutouts and is often textured or darkened (oxidized) for contrast. The two layers are then sweated together - the silver is heated until the two layers meld. The result is a 3-D picture with great depth and interest. Storyteller jewelry often depicts scenes from life on the reservation, including animals like sheep, dogs and horses, buildings such as hogans and outhouses, mesas, trees, looms, kivas, wagans and even pickup trucks.
NOTE: Items in our Vintage Shop are either USED or NEW. They might come from inheritances, estate sales, private collections, and store liquidations. Many items are brand new (NOS, New Old Stock) and in perfect condition while others may show tarnish, scratches and other signs of use. Major issues will be described in detail and shown in photos. Vintage Shop items are sold as described and are not returnable.
Horsekeeping LLC - Definitions of Jewelry Age and Condition
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|A dark or colored film of oxidation that forms naturally on metal exposure to air and other elements. It is often valued for its aesthetically pleasing appearance.|
|30 years or older.|
|New Old Stock. Retail store inventory from at least 10 years ago.|
|An item that has been used.|
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