Pieces Of Silver Craft Creations Of Beauty



Tim Hummer has large gnarled hands that people might expect of a carpenter.

And, one look at the finely detailed, three-dimensional "horned toads," Hummer created out of silver and turquoise and it is easy to tell he is a man who loves the outdoors.

"I was always fascinated with horny-toads," Hummer said. "Just ask my mother. I caught hundreds when I was a kid."

Technically, the cold-blooded toads that warm themselves on rocks under the hot sun of the Southwest's deserts are lizards.

Hummer crafts his horned toads from 20 to 25 pieces of silver and sometimes adorns the spiky critters with turquoise.

"The first one I ever made sold right away," he said. "They are fun and I enjoy working on them."

He has also made 3-D spiders and elk heads. A scorpion is the next project he has planned.

Initially, Hummer said he was told it would be impossible to make some of his 3-D works in silver. He was told, "It will be too difficult to keep all the pieces together while annealing (heat treating the metal to soften it after it has been work hardened with tools) and soldering the silver."

"If you have an idea or a dream you need to follow through with it," Hummer said.

He has been making one-of-a-kind jewelry and art pieces out of silver for some 30 years.


Silver hummingbird sculpture made with more than 30 pieces of silver.

"I don't use any prefab parts and I don't cast anything," he said.

For instance, even if Hummer makes two of the same necklace, each individual leaf or flower is unique.

"Casting to me is too easy," Hummer said. "Things become mass-produced and I don't think that's art."

Sometimes, Hummer admits he gets bored or does not like the appearance of a piece.

He might let it sit until an idea clicks of how he can make it conform to his original vision, but scrapping it and starting again works for him, too.

"I have always liked working with my hands," said the man who makes his living in the construction trade.

The fine detail that infuses his silver work, he likes to see in his painting, drywall and carpentry work.

"Two Guns" is the name of his company.

"If it is a drywall repair, I want to make it match like the repair had never needed to be made," he said.

Hummer welcomes custom carpentry or jewelry work.


This horned toad is just one example of the jewelry created by Tim Hummer.

He will also repair silver jewelry.


Name: Tim Hummer

Medium: Silversmith

Advice to beginning artists: I taught my daughter these things: Don't let anybody tell you can't do it. The only one stopping you is yourself.

Motto: Work less. Fish more.

Why Payson? I grew up in Mesa in the 50s when it was a country town. My family has had property here since the 70s, but I lived in Heber-Overgaard. After the Rodeo-Chediski Fire, I decided it was time for a change.

Upcoming project: Creating a silver scorpion with claws ready to fight and poised to sting.

Hobbies: Fishing, hunting -- anything outdoors. I have always loved the mountains.


Movie: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Music: The Band, Tom Petty

Shop dog: Myra. She is the puppy I brought home from the pound six months ago.

Points of contact: In studio at (928) 474-1298 or at Down the Street Art Gallery, 703 W. Main St., Payson (928) 468-6129.

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