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Robert Pearce

Custom Ornamental Branding Irons

Project Info

Project Description

Artist Statement/Bio: My family had a ranch in Owens Valley, California from 1876 until 1985 when my parents sold out. I was ranch manager at the time. I made my first branding iron in a High School VoAg class. I have made many branding irons over the last nearly 50 years.. My irons are made with traditional beveled characters (wide at the top, taperd to the side that does the branding). Recently I started doing ornamental irons for freinds and family. I was taught how to make irons by Orville Neslson my VoAg teacher, and Bill and Finn Hartshorn to local blacksmiths, who along with thier father, Elbridge, reset the 20 mule team borax wagon wheels years ago. Hartshorns were the last of the true blacksmith wheelwrights in the Eastern Sierra. I currently work for NRCS in Bishop, CA as the District Conservationist.

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