RICARDA McLeary CLAUSE, VINCE DONLEY & MARIO HANEL
This Santa Barbara spade bit features an Elko star as the central motif, engraved steel given a French gray finish, and is combined with engraved sterling silver conchos. The 12-plait rawhide reins and romal were made by Vince Donley, the split-ear headstall and curb strap were made by Mario Hanel and the rein chains were made by Teresa Marsh, Westfall, Oregon.
RICARDA McCLEARY CLAUSE, Bitmaker, Lakeview, Oregon
Born in Winnemucca, Nevada, Ricarda McCleary Clause grew up on the Rock Creek Ranch near Golconda. Her interest in silversmithing began at an early age, and she was especially intrigued with bits and spurs. She worked at various jobs before committing herself to full time silversmithing. Mostly self-taught, Ricarda also attended school at the Elmer Miller School of Bit and Spur Making, took a gun-engraving course, and learns from other artists that she meets. She especially enjoys the creative process, from envisioning a design to making it a reality.
VINCE DONLEY, Rawhide Braider, Parkman, Wyoming
MARIO HANEL, Headstall Maker, Cedarville, California
Photos by Adam Jahiel