Horsethief is inspired by the history of the American Southwest and honors the tradition of handcrafted silver jewelry. Created by Elizabeth Sanchez in 2015, she approaches her work with the aim to forge a genuine, old soul aesthetic in her pieces using silver and stone.
Although I was born and bred in the Pennsylvania Wilds, I always knew I needed to go out west. That influence came from my mother whose love for southwestern jewelry was infused in me from an early age. After my first visit I’m certain that I left my heart somewhere between California and New Mexico. There is something about the southwest that got inside me and lingered in my soul. This is a feeling I craved to recreate, even if it had to be from a thousand miles away.
After leaving my career as an agency web designer I took the risk and pursued silversmithing. By chance I began working part time at a local Native American art gallery where I’ve had the pleasure to learn from artists and interact with incredible historic southwest jewelry. These distinct influences on my everyday life have left me with no shortage for inspiration in my work.
I have always been drawn to the story behind jewelry and the connections that people make with their pieces. When you wear handmade jewelry there is a subtle exchange of energy that happens. Once the artist has refined raw materials to a certain point, the owner then takes over the dialogue that this piece will have in with the world- what this jewelry will signify, how it will make them feel, the occasions they will choose to wear it. After the artist sets their work free in the world, a really beautiful collaboration begins.
I very much respect the tradition of craftsmanship. Working slowly and producing my pieces the right way is very important to me. There is nothing like your mind and senses all working together to create something. I love the scars and dirt on my hands and bench telling the story of my work. There is nothing like the feeling the weight and smoothness of a finished piece in my hand. One of my favorite ways to work is to take someone's vision and turn it into a custom piece. Knowing that we've creative something together that will always be special to them is one of the most rewarding things about what I do.