Amy Raymond is the quintessential jack of all trades… rancher, mom, wife, and silversmith. After going to school and working on the family Angus ranch in Helix, Oregon, Amy looked at doing leatherwork, but was more at home with silver. She credits her success in the industry to having a few great silversmiths, such as Diane Scalese and Ernie Marsh, take her under their wing for a short time. And now she enjoys giving back and helping others learn the trade.
Her work with Pendleton Cattle Barons, a non-profit organization based in Pendleton, OR, has proven to be successful and has grown each year. The Pendleton Cattle Barons was created to raise money for scholarships given to area young adults pursuing a post high school education in agriculture. “All of us work hard to put on this event. It’s a labor of love,” says Raymond.
She also organizes an engraving class each year during the event to help others learn in the trade. This year, Jeremiah Watt taught the class. Since starting the Engraving Show at PCB in 2014, it has since grown to showcase even more trades than engraving, such as leatherwork and rawhide braiding.
This year, Amy has partnered with fellow craftsman, Justin Thorson for the Fusion Show, to create a one-of- a-kind piece that merges the best of silversmithing and leather tooling.
Don’t let his quiet nature fool you. Justin Thorson is a beast in the leather shop. Now on his 17th year as a saddlemaker, he works full time in his trade building saddles for the world-famous Hamley & Company and for personal customers.
Justin and Amy met in Pendleton, OR when Justin was head saddle maker & shop manager at Hamley’s. Even after Justin moved back to Montana in 2015, they kept in touch, exchanging ideas and combining their talents on projects, such as the Jordan Valley Big Loop trophy saddle (See photos)
Throughout the years, Justin has made it his mission to forever be a student of his work. He was awarded a Traditional Cowboy Arts Association scholarship and worked with Cary Schwarz in Salmon, Idaho. His work has been on display at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, and in 2014, he was honored to make the Pendleton Round-Up All Around Saddle won by Trevor Brazile. (See photo)
Combining their talents, the duo plans on bringing a fully custom piece to the Fusion Show that will wow even the most critical of judges.