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Thomas Singer, Navajo Jeweler

Thomas Singer is a Navajo Indian from Winslow, Arizona. He grew up in the small community of Dilcon on the Navajo Reservation. Mr. Singer uses Sterling silver and turquoise to create artistic expressions of Navajo traditional ways. He states, "I make jewelry out of silver, every piece is made with the meanings from my traditional ways--the Navajo way of living. My father was a silversmith. He taught me and wanted me to continue this trade. It was my father's dream that I learn to silversmiith so that I can continue his belief." In the 1960's Singer became famous for inventing the use of turquoise and coral chips in silverwork. This method of design is referred to as "chip-inlay." So successful was this invention that many Navajo craftsmen copy the method and every Indian jewelry store carries some form of chip-inlay. Mr. Singer's work is well known internationally. His work is featured in a number of Indian art publications. One can easily recognize Thomas' work. He marks his finished pieces with "T. Singer" or with "T and a crescent moon." Whether Mr. Singer creates a bolo tie, buckle ,ring or bracelet, he states that, "All my jewelry is made to satisfy my customers. Each piece is unique and is made very different. I try hard to make different styles and designs of my jewelry."