Ghost Town Metal Works in the Press

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Elko Daily Free Press - Mining Quarterly March 2019

Ghost Town Metal Works 


Elko, Nev. USA

 A Nevada native turns to nature’s canvas, seeking elements for her one-of-a-kind jewelry. Charity Wanechek’s love of lithics began some three decades ago in Yerington, a  small Nevada community rich in minerals.

“As  a kid, I obviously had a rock obsession like most people in this type  of occupation,” Charity said. “I actually used to sit out in the gravel  in [my friend’s] driveway and look for rocks. We were pretty sure we  were rich because we were finding tons of fool’s gold in all the  gravel.”

Charity loves the  outdoors and animals. In college, she decided to study veterinary  science. To balance the required rigorous courses, she also took jewelry  design, not realizing it would later become her profession.

“At  one point, my instructor pulled me aside and said that if, for some  reason, I decided to not pursue veterinary medicine, he felt like I  could have a home in the career of metalsmithing,” Charity said. “I was  so sad when that class was over.”

She continued her animal science studies and bought a few jewelry tools as money allowed.

Charity finished her degree and became a licensed veterinary technician in rural Washington. She also married and had a child.

When  her son, Zephyr Bodie was a few months old, her husband gave her some  money to buy herself something nice. She was still at home with the baby  before going back to work. Charity perused Amazon looking for a piece  of jewelry. She became frustrated because she knew her work was better.  In her heart, the creativity bug was still gnawing away.

“I  thought, ‘You know what? I am going to start making jewelry,’” she  said. “I ordered stuff at two in the morning while holding my son.”

In the morning, she told Arron, her husband, that she was starting her own silversmithing business. That was two years ago.

It had been a long time since she  had taken her jewelry classes, but Charity set to work, making  ornamental pieces and learning new techniques. Her online sales started  taking off, so she decided to quit her regular job.

Charity  works from her garage studio. She uses a traditional piñon Navajo-tree  stump for metal stamping. She also has a large selection of handmade  Navajo metal stamps.

“I am very  passionate about my job and what I do,” Charity said. “I specifically  set materials from Nevada, my home state, from Washington, my adult home  state, and from Montana, which is like a third home.”

Charity  is working on building her Nevada turquoise collection and hopes to one  day have samples from every mine in the state. She has set stones from  at least 30 mines.

“Nevada turquoise is considered to be the best in the world,” she said.

The  artist marries metal and stone, creating pieces that are partnered in  lasting beauty. Other touches include oxidizing the metal, producing  patinas in copper and rust tones, making the piece feel like it was just  recovered after being buried for years in a ghost town.

“I enjoy that finishing touch,” she says. “Sometimes, I get rainbows out of metal.”

Charity sells her work through her website, at various shows and at the Eureka Restoration Enterprise located at 180 N. Main St. in Eureka.

Copyright Cynthia Delaney - Elko Daily Free Press 2019

Click HERE to see the original article, and all of the included images.

Charity Wanechek works in her Washington studio, using Nevada stones to create one-of-a-kind jewelry

Charity Wanechek works in her Washington studio, using Nevada stones to create one-of-a-kind jewelry

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Ghost Town Metal Works

PO Box 764, Cle Elum, Washington 98922, United States

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