This issue’s artist is Ryan Arps. Ryan is 15 and will be starting his sophomore year at Augusta High School.
Ryan has been working with sterling silver and copper for about four to five months now, making bracelets and cowboy picks. He makes these by twisting and shaping the metal, then grinding and polishing them so that everything looks great. He hopes to start doing engravings on them in the next few years. He also loves working with leather, which he has been doing for about a year now. He has made belts, coasters, wallets, billfolds, sheaths, pistol holsters, and more. “People give me a picture of an idea of what they want, and I sure give it a shot.”
Ryan keeps busy with mowing, fencing, and other odd jobs, but really enjoys working with leather. When asked what he wanted to do after school, Ryan replied, “I want to go to a six-month welding college and then I want to build saddles. Saddle making is what I really want to do. If the right job comes up working a saddle shop, that would be nice. Starting my own shop, that would be the best outcome that could happen. That would be pretty cool.” He enjoys selling his items through Instagram under the name ryarps.
To see his work and many others, stop by Latigo & Lace at 122 Main Street in Augusta. While you are there, don’t forget to get some of the best coffee in town.