We’re kicking off 2013 here at HorseDigests.com with some beautiful artisan jewelry!
Vanessa at Ristra Ranch is a metal-working, horse-loving, jewelry-making, artist extraordinaire. Take a look at that beauty above. This gorgeous horse cuff will go to one lucky winner. $160 value, made of copper and sterling silver, featuring Kingman Turquoise, Carnelian, and Lapis Lazuli stones — completely handcrafted and created at Ristra Ranch.
Enter to win this horse cuff by answering this question in the comment section below…
[box] WHAT HORSE WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO HAVE A CUSTOM-MADE PIECE OF JEWELRY MADE IN HONOR OF? [/box]
Take a moment to find out more about Vanessa and the artistry behind her work…
Tell us a bit about yourself/your art!
My name is Vanessa and I run a one-woman operation called Ristra Ranch. I work mostly in sterling silver and copper. I love taking old, forgotten vintage items like tin tobacco tags, pinbacks, and glass intaglios and giving them new life in modern jewelry.
Are you a horse lover or horse owner?
I am both a horse owner and a horse lover! I have a 10-year-old Quarter Horse gelding named Wyatt, who is the love of my life. I owned and managed a boarding and training farm for many years and competed in Hunters and Jumpers.
How did you become a vintage/metal-working jewelry artist?
I’ve dabbled in jewelry making for most of my life. I’ve always wanted to learn silversmithing, but never had the time because I was too busy running my farm. When I retired from being a horse trainer, I finally had time to take silversmithing classes and I am still learning all the time.
How do your pieces come to life? Do you sketch them out or do you find a vintage ‘bobble’ that just speaks to you and knows what it wants to become?
I spend a lot of time laying out different pieces, combining different stones and vintage components, trying out different combinations”¦I will often get totally absorbed in the process and realize that hours have passed, my studio is a mess, and I haven’t actually made anything! Interestingly, my best ideas often come when I’m lying in bed trying to fall asleep. I’m a total night owl.
Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve created?
It’s really hard to pick just one! When I wear my big Souvenir of the Rodeo necklace I feel like a Rodeo Queen. My horseshoe earrings are a staple of my wardrobe, because they go with everything. The custom horse portrait necklace I made of Wyatt lets me have my favorite boy with me everywhere I go. And my new concho bit bracelets are really cool”¦I must admit, I’m pretty fickle and I change favorites on a daily basis!
How can people get a hold of you, see more of your work, and become a fan?
I have a website, RistraRanch.com, and am currently in the process of redesigning the site and adding lots of new features and content. I also sell on etsy, RistraRanch.etsy.com. I offer specials deals and giveaways to fans of my facebook page, click here to visit. If you enjoy my work, check my sites frequently, as I am constantly adding new inventory. I love making special custom pieces and you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about anything!
ENTER TO WIN by answering this question in the comments section below: WHAT HORSE WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO HAVE A CUSTOM-MADE PIECE OF JEWELRY MADE IN HONOR OF?
*We use Random.org to choose winners. All entries at HorseDigests.com are created equal. 😉 Comments close at 10pm (CST) Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14th, 2013). Winner will be announced on Feb. 15th.