The Beginning of a Memoir: Horsethief x Wavy Alabaster
In Partnership with Horsethief
Rings are my preferred accessories. In the last ten years, I have embraced my piano hands, as described by my mother, and dressed them up. There is a consistent lineup lately. Each design is accompanied by a story or a connection. My black diamond engagement ring transports me to 2012 at Sutcliffe Park in Conshohocken where Ben's nervousness and fireworks were on full display. A jelly-beaned shaped turquoise ring, gifted by my late aunt, houses residue of The Countryside bar, cowboy boots and a spirit refusing to dim. Storytelling sources style in my world of getting dressed and accessorized. Give me history, give me fit and I am on board. Horsethief, a silver goods brand which honors the trade of handcrafted jewelry, is now giving me the opportunity to create my own story in silver.
Elizabeth Sanchez is the brains, the brawn, and the talent behind Horsethief. From bandana slides to stamped cuffs and earrings to multi-stone necklaces; she crafts beautiful pieces with old soul character. Elizabeth is a one-woman assembly line. Though she is efficient with multiple pieces being created simultaneously, her goal is not to manufacture a mass amount of jewelry. Her detailed process is found on the respect for silversmithing. The magic lives in the patience. One piece can take five or more hours to craft with more than twenty steps. As Elizabeth puts it, "There is nothing fast about what I do." From a bezel around a stone to a handmade pickle (a solution to clean silver between soldering), a new vocabulary was acquired when I paid a visit to Elizabeth's workspace. A bench, built by her grandfather and father, provides a meaningful space in which to silversmith. It bears the marks of her labor. Each step requires elegant control; the full attention of Elizabeth's hands and eyes. It is a humbling, hypnotic process to watch.
During our first visit, Elizabeth dusted our table with beautiful stones. She loves nothing more than a client consultation. This is when she feels most like a gypsy traveling from coffee shop to coffee shop curating custom jewelry. I love turquoise (who doesn't?!) and it was apparent during our meeting. The color is a standout and neutral. It compliments a variety of styles and attitudes, and yet refuses to go unnoticed. Elizabeth gave me another reason to love this stone. By the nature of its creation, forming in deserts near water, it is a symbol for life (*swoon*). A King's Manassa held my gaze. The idiosyncrasies of the stone resembled a body of water. The waves peaking and crashing, exposing and molding hints of land. The arrowhead shape plays to my arrow tattoo meaning: sometimes we are pulled back in order to launch forward. The thought of a stone complimenting this mindset sold me even further.
Elizabeth began framing the King's Manassa with a variety of stones. The spiny oyster shells and their natural red-orange color complimented the turquoise beautifully. They were oval shaped and on fire. One of the combinations mimicked a bear claw. This brought Ben to mind (he secretly wants to be Hugh Glass, an outdoor woodsman living off the land), and well, that was that. It is not one of my most poetic of parallels; but, when a hint of Ben is found within a piece (no matter how ridiculous), it is a keeper. To create balance between the colored stones, small silver balls were added. The final touch of design was a rope-like silver framing. With the design sketched, Elizabeth went to work.
Elizabeth has given a rare gift. I continually hunt for history in my garments, accessories, even my home decor. These items have already lived a life, or two or three. Their spirit of experience energizes my days and reminds me I am never alone. This time, I am at the dawn of a piece. This ring's original owner is me. The story starts with us. What an exhilarating notion. This ring will absorb its surroundings, chapter by chapter, until one day when it is gifted to another.
You are in good hands with Elizabeth from Horsethief. I certainly was. Her talent and vision builds transcendent jewelry. You feel her "old soul aesthetic" and rich, peaceful energy with each wearing. As the holidays approach, there is no better gift than one backed with soul and spirit. Thank you, Elizabeth for bringing my ring collection full circle.