Toby Henderson was born in Phoenix, though his family is from the Borrago Pass Reservation in New Mexico. He comes from a long line of silversmiths including mother Ella Long, his grandparents, Helen and Jim Long, and his Uncle Phillip Long, and Tommy Long are all silversmiths. He learned from his grandparents with whom he spent summers when he was 7 and 8 years old. They were very patient, inspiring and so happy that he was carrying on the tradition of their art. He started with a bola tie, rings, and then he explored his own style doing silver mudheads, sun, and yei be chai kachinas.
His first pieces were bola ties with dimensional silversmith work. He was the first in his family to do freestanding kachinas. The family tradition now continues with his three daughters, ages 13, 15 and 16, and his 23 year old son Wayne. His oldest daughter helps with his designs and all the girls help with cleaning, washing, and buffing. They work as a team.
Sadly, we lost a very special friend and silversmith when Toby passed away in October 2019. His unique talent and creativity lives on in his beautiful jewelry. We love you, Toby!