Catie Kershner Custom Silver
- December 12, 2019
- Tiffany Schwenke
A silversmith by the name of Catie Kershner has been busy creating beautiful silver jewelry. Her work caught my eye a while back and I have been admiring her ever since. I figured that we need to get to know her so I asked her a few questions…
CS: Please tell us some of your history/background.
CK: Ranch Raised & Jesus Saved!
This always seems to be the hardest question to answer! I never know how to sum up who I am and where I’m from.
My family ranches outside of Jordan Valley, raising predominately angus cattle and a few head of goats (every ranch needs a herd of 10-20 right?!). Much of my ambition stems from my folks and their life lesson of, “No sense in waiting for someone else to do it for ya!”
That lifestyle has very much shaped me as a person as well as my business. Even though I don’t live on the ranch anymore, those morals, ethics, and lifestyle is still within me and is reflected in my work.
Currently, I am approaching five years of working for the USDA. Having a 9-5 job as well as juggling a blossoming business keeps me busy for sure, but I enjoy the challenge!
CS: How did you get started with silver work? And how did you learn your trade? Any influential mentors?
CK: What started out to be a hobby/way to turn some extra money has turned into something much more than I ever imagined!
About 10 years ago I started by taking a week-long class, because it is so expensive to get into (tools, silver etc.) I was told this needed to be something I took seriously! I struggled for several years; I am not one of those who have an innate ability to create amazing silver pieces. It has taken a lot of hard work and persistence. Practice really does make perfect.
I only knew a few people who did silver work and not being confident enough in my craft, I was afraid to seek help.
I think a big turning point in my trade was taking the classes offered through Pendleton Cattle Barons. I did not want to go (mainly out of fear/lack of confidence) & potentially be critiqued by people in the industry so much better than myself. I ended up stepping outside my comfort zone and took the class.
A huge mentor in my work came out of the class; she was the one who conned me into going in the first place, Amy Raymond. She has been such a great friend and asset to me in all areas of my silversmithing. Numerous other mentors & friendships in the silversmith world as well, but I can say they have all stemmed from my connections & the classes at Cattle Barons.
CS: What inspires you to create?
CK: The creative process for me is ever evolving! But a huge part of that I would say is ranch wives. Making pieces that are meant to be used and worked in. Pieces worthy to be handed down generations. Pieces worth cherishing.
A big piece of my creativity also comes from my background and history in AG. I pull inspiration from the ranching/farming lifestyle so many of my customers, as well as myself, live day in and day out.
CS: Future plans?
CK: So many plans!! I’ve checked a lot of goals off the list here recently, but I have some many more things I’m anticipating and planning for in the future.
I am a natural list maker so that helps keep me reminded of where I’m going and what I need to be doing. As far as specific future plans, I’ve got a few things up my sleeve for collaborations and new moves…stay tuned!
I will be taking more classes-I have the plans to take a GRS class possibly in 2020.
I also recently bought a house and am in the process of transforming the garage into my silversmith shop/office so big plans to get that up and running! It’s functional now and I love having my shop 20 steps out my back door. Hopefully having a shop closer means more website updates, custom orders, and all the good things that come with being able to work more!
Be sure to check out the great Christmas shopping and stocking stuffer ideas going up on the website! https://kershnercustomsilver.com/
Check out and follow Kreshner Custom Silver Facebook page!
About Tiffany Schwenke
My family has been ranching and raising horses for over 100 years. We raise, train, and market AQHA horses at North Four Mile Creek Horse Ranch. We produce the annual event WYO WILD RIDE RANCH RODEO. I am a wife and a mother to 3 amazing...