ELIZABETH | THE HORSETHIEF
Desert Mama- Who is Elizabeth and where can we find her? Tell us about
Elizabeth- My name is Elizabeth Sánchez. I grew up running through the woods of a rural town located in the Pennsyvania Wilds. My hometown is the self-proclaimed “Horse Thief Capital of the World.” So you see where I found my business name. I spent a good deal of my childhood outside exploring, hanging out with my grandma, and going to barn parties to take in live music at a family friend’s property. I also spent a portion of my childhood on the Mediterranean coast in Valencia, Spain where my father is from.
I currently reside in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with my pup, Banjo. I love making connections with other people through creating jewelry that gives folks a greater sense of closeness to their true selves.
DM- How long have you been designing jewelry and when did the love for this art come about? Tell us about how you started The Horsethief:
E- I have been designing and crafting jewelry for around 8 years. I was drawn to making jewelry because I’ve always felt like there was some kind of magic in personal adornment. The connection of creativity and craftsmanship in metalwork really spoke to my heart. In simple terms I look at it as a beautiful form of problem solving. I’m particularly drawn to the aspect of taking raw materials and transforming them into a well-loved piece.
I started Horsethief after I was laid off one too many times. I was tired of my life being at the mercy of the man. Through all my uncertainty, I followed the undeniable pull to go my own way. I used my severance to build out a studio in my living room and worked side jobs until I found solid ground. Horsethief has only grown from there and it’s the best thing I ever did for myself.
DM- Who taught you how to do this?
E- While I was feeling lost in my old career (and honestly, life in general) I took an Intro to Metalsmithing course at a local art center. I felt the spark immediately and fell in love with the craft. Beyond that class my teachers have been Trial & Error.
DM- What inspires you, and what other artist currently working do you admire?
E- I’m inspired by how humans have used adornment in a meaningful way throughout history whether it be to attract/protect, in ceremony, in memorial, or just for beauty. I find magic in the natural world, symbolism, and architecture to draw inspiration for my work.
It feels unfair to name just one artist that I admire. I know and look up to many who are extremely important to me as a collective. A few that I admire on a personal level (local and otherwise) are: Atiya Jones, KINGRELD, Tyana Arviso, and Collette Marie.
DM- Show us what you think is your best work by now and tell us why you love it:
E- I love this matching bolo tie and ring set because it embodies just about everything I love about what I do. I was approached by my customer about this idea she had and she wanted it to be a surprise for her partner. In the end she was so excited about it that she told him. The best kind of compliment I will ever receive is not always in the words of my clients.
When my work excites or moves people… brings emotions out in them… that’s the highest compliment of all.
DM- The part you love the most of what you do, and the worst part:
E- The part that I love the most about what I do is making jewelry for people that has meaning beyond the material world. I’ve been able to offer comfort through memorial pieces, or create a meaningful symbol of love and partnership through engagement/wedding rings. That’s just so special to me.
There is nothing that I would consider the worst part. There are truly difficult parts but it’s all part of the deal. I can’t complain.
DM- If you had to choose, which gemstone is your favorite?
E– It’s so hard to choose! I fall in love with every stone I work with but I would have to go with my first love, Turquoise. It has a beautiful range of colors and qualities that present based on what was provided by the Earth as it formed.
DM- Where and how would you like to see yourself 10 years from now?
E- 10 years from now I’d like to see myself settled onto a piece of land with my future partner/family and a ragtag cast of animals.
Pretty simple stuff. Just living, loving, and being as happy as we can. Anything else would be a bonus.
DM- Which is your best memory of when you were a child:
E- I am thankful to have a lot of good memories from my childhood. I would say my favorite part is the backdrop that ties them all together: my grandma’s house, the Pennsylvania wilds, being around family, the freedom I had to run around and explore.
DM- Your best quality and your worst defect:
E- My best quality is that I try to practice being patient and kind.
My worst would be my tendency to live in extremes of overextending or isolating myself. I love action, adventure, being with friends.. but it can cost me my peace at times. I’m learning the balance of saving something for myself.
DM- What makes you angry:
E- Not much.
DM- What do you do for fun?
E- Most often, fun equals escaping the city to ride with my aunt. This past year I bonded with one of her horses. “He’s your horse now” was the best thing I’ve ever heard.
Otherwise I love to float in bodies of water, explore nature, and spend time with my people.
DM- A success and a failure:
E- One success would be rescuing Banjo. He never knew kindness or had a safe place to live. Earning his trust was a long and difficult process. Having the responsibility for another being taught me a lot regarding basic lessons in patience and communication. He will never be a “normal” dog but I’m proud to be the one to provide him a good, stable life.
A failure would be that anytime that I didn’t believe in myself.
– A phrase: “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
– A film: I love horror films but I don’t want to sound like a total creep so here are the first favorites that come to mind- Wild at Heart, The Fountain, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
– A drink: Good wine enjoyed in good company.
– A song: “You make me high” by Luke and the Apostles gives me big feelings.
– A book: “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass taught me a lot about empathy.
– A country: Spain, mi segunda patria.
WHAT DOES ELIZABETH PREFER?
- Ten years in a coma / Ten years in jail (I’d learn more in jail than in a coma)
- City life / Country life (Having done both I can say country life is the goal)
- Talking to animals / Talking to the dead (Both, but animals would be less unnerving)
- Having more time / Having more money
- Constantly winter / Constantly summer
- Having a family with 5 kids / Not having kids at all (Growing old alone is one of my biggest fears. Out of 5 one of them is bound to not be sick of me by then haha)
- Always having your tees two sizes bigger / Having them one size small
- Only eating salty food/ Only eating sweet food
- Something organized / Something improvised
- Visiting the past / Visiting the future
- To be unable to see / To be unable to hear
- Reality / Fiction
- Light on / Light off (If this is what I think it is hah)
- Motorcycle trip / Car trip
- Never leaving your city / Not being able to return
- Continuing with your life / Restarting your life (I love my life but a second chance down a different path sounds pretty cool)
- Being submissive / Being dominant
- Knowing what you will die of / Knowing what day you will
- Waking up in a desert / In a boat in the middle of the Ocean
- Music concert / Theater play