Scrapbook One Hundred One…




Things and Stuff

I don’t know what it is about things and stuff but I like to make them.


When our Santa Fe art foundry was running full speed in the early 70s, working in the pouring room was frenzied. Molten bronze was 2,000 degrees hot and scary, and the angst of spilling some on my toes made my pulse quicken some and my eyes stay wide.

After work it was time to play and unwind. A favorite hobby was making art jewelry. My repertoire included chains, kachina figures, crosses, bracelets, pendants made from spilled bronze droplets, and whatever else I could think of.


All I needed was a roll of bailing wire, some cement nails, a few welding rods, an acetylene torch, and a jar of flux. That’s all.

When visitors looked at my work and squinched I’d tell them I was going through my mid-life, avant-garde, art period. Men especially didn’t like my stuff until I gave their wives a necklace or some ear rings, then suddenly I was their hero and everyone loved my boundless talent.


I learned enough about human nature doing those things that I thought some small college in Colorado would give me an honorary PhD in Anthropology or Physiology.  But they didn’t.

55 thoughts on “Scrapbook One Hundred One…

  1. Really surprised you never left society and lived with the Indians for a few years.

    There is a famous Indian anthropologist who wrote in microscopic words such as yourself.

    Seems to be a trait……..

    It is thought a person of this nature goes deep within themselves for the answers:)

    • Really thinking about doing missionary work with Native Americans this coming year.

      Depression drug abuse loneliness anger poverty. Deep spirituality and traditions.

      How to share the love of God to such a people utterly wasted by this society?

      Think just be real and authentic:)

  2. I love your kachina and I’d buy one of those! It would look great in my little collection. You ARE an artist. They should have given you a degree in Fine Art. 🙂

  3. Really thinking about doing missionary work with Native Americans this coming year.

    Depression drug abuse loneliness anger poverty. Deep spirituality and traditions.

    How to share the love of God to such a people utterly wasted by this society?

    Think just be real and authentic:)

  4. Beautiful art pieces! And he finally mentions Colorado. Forrest, can I order an art jewelry piece that says “Colorado”?

  5. I love the thrill of the chase, but my brain is starting to melt with so many hints. Do you think Mr. Fenn meant to say “Psychology” and not “Physiology”?

  6. No wonder you are so rich! 🙂 “Waste not, want not.” Picking up droplets of bronze and making jewelry, brilliant! It’s amazing what people will buy.

  7. Nice work FF…I like that you have many interests and hobbies… you seem like an interesting cat….
    off topic- I remember reading the book “The Alchemist” when I was younger, great book….some part of me wishes that the chest was hidden in my backyard the whole time….

  8. Your kachinas head dress looks like the statue of liberty, very New Yorkish … is this circa 1975, around the time you attended the luncheon at the Dutch Treat Club?

  9. Forrest, I like your work. It reminds me of my life, especailly now that my eyes are getting old. The kachina looks like I see things some days, all softened but still able to tell what it is.

    Kachinas, chains and crosses. 🙂

  10. I took a couple years of silversmithing in high school. Every once in awhile something reminds me about the enjoyment I had casting rings or other obscurities, and soldering pieces of nickel-silver together to make a necklace piece with inlays. My largest project was an eagle, in similar image to spread wings and clutched talons like the back of a $1, and it included multiple layers of copper, brass, and nickel-silver cut pieces also with crush stone inlays, got into the art show with it. I just went looking for it, aha and found it, lol. Brings back some interesting memories.

    I often wondered from time to time if I could have pursued the “smithing” further at least as hobby, just need the right equipment and a shop I guess.

    Thanks for sharing your things and stuff Forrest, and the reminder. Maybe I will start plans to make my own stuff too, once again. My wife and I have discussed also in the past how cool it would be to weld and make stuff as well.


  11. Mr. Fenn, I love you, I really do, but that is some of the ugliest stuff I’ve ever seen. I’m sure you could best me at the foundry any day, but yeah, I’m glad you didn’t quit your day job. 🙂

    I wonder if you posted this to see how many would suck up and describe it’s beauty, and to see how many would grant you an honest opinion.

    One thing us girls with Asperger’s is good at is being honest, sometimes painfully so. But I also know if I dish it out, I’ve gotta be able to take it, too. It’s called constructive criticism, and in the writing world, you need it to survive. I still love editing, although I don’t have much time for it anymore. I still hear from my past authors that I was the best they’d had (a couple of my authors have made the NYT best sellers list) because I told them how it was. I pointed out mistakes, but in a way where they could learn. I never made fun of their writing, never spoke condescendingly. I taught. And praised them for work well done.

    The crosses, I’ll admit, are nice. I love rustic looking things like that.

    We all don’t have to love everything that Mr. Fenn writes or draws, or talks about. Everyone is unique, with unique traits and quirks and styles. Because I think the kachina is sorta creepy doesn’t mean I’m taking a personal jab at Mr. Fenn. It is my own opinion, and after all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    What I guess I’m trying to say is that sometimes Mr. Fenn doesn’t want to hear gushing praises over his every move. That gets old and I’m sure he can spot it a mile away.

    But I can say that I don’t find the kachina particularly beautiful or skillfully wrought, I do think the man who made them is. 🙂

    • Oh, and I think I see a hint in the layout of the first picture….your design is something I can’t critique on, because it is flawless. Now I have to find the mirror image. 🙂

    • Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder Mindy. I have a few kachinas in my very limited Native American collection and I like Forrest’s bronze interpretation of a kachina as it reminds me of the Hopi Sun God. So please don’t label those of us who have expressed a liking for a piece of his work as “suck ups”! (And of course I was kidding about saying he should have been awarded a degree in Fine Art.)

      • No, I’m not labeling anybody. Beauty is most definitely in the eye of the beholder. But, as Forrest Fenn says in this story, once Fenn gives a gift, everyone who thought his art was less than mediocre before, now proclaimed him as a Master, as though expecting more free handouts.

        Flattery to gain gifts, attention, or to accomplish anything other than to genuinely and honestly praise good work is greed.

        • I agree with you Mindy on both the jewelry, and that paying a genuine compliment differs from flattery in its intent. Our responses should be As honest (without being hurtful) to Forrest as they are a close friend who holds no gold. But the format here is unprecedented And I expect folks are just being kind when they pay a compliment.

          Bye all!

    • LOL Mindy, thats what I said about some of the other stuff to Forrest which made me think about todays post. He didnt disagree with me. 🙂

      I do like rustic stuff so what I said about the chains and kachina is true. 🙂

  12. My thought when looking at the display in the picture above is Jesus ascending into heaven with the image of his cross and the crosses of the two crucified with him left on the earth below him. the shackles and chains left behind also. Maybe it was the reliquary post that makes the picture look that way to me.

    • Cloudcover, that’s a beautiful interpretation of f.’s arrangement and brought peace to my heart this day. It’s very easy for me to get sidetracked from contentment that comes through being forgiven and free. I’m giving up chasing clues this winter to refocus. then, come spring we will see what new adventures await.

      • Oh I didn’t see you comment until now 42. That makes me happy if anything I said brought peace to someone’s heart even for a day. Thank you for your kind words. And thanks to Mr. Fenn for his arrangement. Good luck on your next adventures.

  13. I read a comment from Forrest someplace that some people thought he was an Alien… That would explain a lot:) I just can’t remember exactly which article, I have read so many, anyone remember reading that?

  14. I am having blazing thoughts…what are you thinking. your drive and sprit is really appealing to me… It doesn’t make sense but only to the artist.

  15. The kachina figure reminds me of Tohopka-The Patriarch of the Remuda. That’s Silly I guess. Things and Stuff…One word I just don’t like using and another word I have too much of.
    Back to dreaming.

  16. all I can get out of this is ,I am no longer bound by things of the past that I have done that was wrong,sin is so ugly.and boy is this ugly.but jesus Christ died for me and took my sins away,now I am saved,I am free.I have life eternally through jesus Christ in heaven when I die. this is what I see. this is why ,I am at peace.why worry ,when I know where I am going when I die.

  17. Those are some cool items. I love old and rustic things. I feel more comfortable around things that I don’t have to worry about “damaging” them. I love the old patina look on those items. In fact, I met my wife when an old friend called me to ask how I made some new stained glass windows that I built look like they were old. I went down to his studio to show him how it was done…and there she was!

    My taste for “old things” really paid off! 🙂

    Btw, I wonder if the concept of the beams from the Kachina doll’s head…created in many different ways…like the rods in Forrest’s creation…might be representative of light beams emanating from the head of some ancient spiritual/astral being. I’m sure there are many varied explanations.

  18. f, amazing the usages on can find for baling wire. I love your re-purposed art pieces. They are unique and all are very interesting. Thanks for the “101”!! 🙂

  19. Mr. Fenn, I love it all, I want one of the bracelets. They are a one of a kind and unique and lovely you are amazing and talented !! Wish you could meet my Uncle RF he is your age and is a retired minister but he owned an antique shop and collected many items. And traveled and has lots of stories like yourself his health is not good anymore but his mind is still a steal trap of information. Keep all of the pieces coming and of course the wonderful stories. JMD Ms Girl

  20. Forrest, I have always seen you first and foremost as an artist! When I opened this post, and saw your pieces of art, I absorbed the rustic beauty of your creations. This is not flattery and I was surprised (and not) to see there were people that didn’t appreciate these “energy turned to art pieces”.

    From the very beginning of my contact with you 2-3 years ago, it was first about my interest in your former art gallery. When I met you at Renelle’s fundraiser event, I immediately felt the urge to pick up the bronze jar, feel the texture, designs, weight, the way the lid fit perfectly, and the energy that your hands and soul put into it. I’m not an art expert, just an artist myself, and when experiencing art, I give as much value to the unseen energy as to what can be seen with the human eye. As an artist, I also understand what it’s like to put yourself and your art out for public scrutiny, and to those that may not see the art using all six senses. Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and some will like it, some won’t, so what. 😉

  21. IMO..If Forrest is 49 and has 40 years experience, that makes him 89yrs old. Dal, as calculated is 31 so with all his experience,s of 30 years it makes him 61yrs old. He said there has a birthday coming up,so I,d say 60 going on 61 yrs.
    Am not sure about Beautiful Peggy,but I think she is 3 years younger than Forrest.

  22. onuat-
    Forrest was 84 this year.
    That pic of Forrest was taken yesterday.

    dal was 66 this year
    The pic of dal was taken in ’66 and is his HS senior photo.

  23. You both look good, and both have more geddy-up and go than most younger men. The stuff is cool too, and I don’t mind suck n’ up! Smiles.

    Rick missionary work is one reason I started the chase. My now 25 year old son went on three missionary trips with his church when he was younger, all three to New Mexico. I had never been and was thrilled to have a reason/opportunity. I’d be glad to follow in your footsteps just point and direct and I’m there!

    Just checking in!
    Mark H.

  24. “All I needed was a roll of bailing wire, some cement nails, a few welding rods, an acetylene torch, and a jar of flux. That’s all.”

    With this statement, does anyone think Mr. Fenn is telling us how he secured the chest from opening? Bailing wire went by the wayside many years ago. Why didn’t he just say wire……bailing wire is wrapped very tightly around the bail of hay. Possibly used the cement nails to anchor the chest to a rock?

    Just thinking of possibilities.

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