|November 2, 2017||Comments Closed|
There’s a section of I-35 just 25 miles north of Waco that’s taking a lot of heat lately. Andrew and Teisha Vandekop, the couple behind “Backyard Silversmiths,” have just opened their new backyard workshop to the public where visitors can watch Andrew create his .999 Fine Silver jewelry designs being hand-forged on site with an 1800-degree furnace, 3000-degree blowtorch, giant hammers and anvils.
“We’ve been sharing our jewelry designs at art fairs and festivals around North Texas and so many people asked if they could come to my studio and watch me create the silver pieces,” Vandekop said. “But my studio was a 10’x 20’ patio in my backyard in Dallas and I really couldn’t have visitors there, so we came up with this concept where we would have a nice jewelry shop showcasing our jewelry and open our workshop to the public where visitors could see me operating the furnace and other traditional silversmithing tools. We found the perfect set up in Abbott.”
Vandekop is now creating his rustic silver jewelry pieces in the former Supreme Trailers of Texas building at EXIT 356. He learned traditional silversmithing from his grandfather who was a silversmith in England. Vandekop visited his grandfather during his teenage years and picked up some tried and true techniques.
“My grandfather gave me some really valuable lessons,” Vandekop reflects. “He insisted that silversmithing was not only about creating something pretty – it’s also about making the wearer feel something, some kind of an emotion. He was also not a fan of trends. He said you need to make pieces that are unique because unique is the only thing that will have your customers seeking you.”
Vandekop’s unique designs include his patent-pending Spur Bracelet, pirate-inspired coin necklace pendants, and giant silver rings with gaps for an easy fit. Each piece of jewelry starts out as a couple of silver coins or bars that he melts on site, and then hammers or chisels into shape.
Backyard Silversmiths is open Tuesday – Sunday, 12-6, unless the Vandekops are exhibiting at an art fair or festival. All of their jewelry is also available online at www.BackyardSilversmiths.com.
** In celebration of Harrell & Associates helping the Vandekops with their purchase of the property, Backyard Silversmiths is offering 20% off your total order to all readers of Weekend Waco Update. Use the code HARRELL20 at checkout on their website, or just let them know you read this article when you stop by their jewelry shop and workshop at EXIT 356 in Abbott. Discount available through December 31, 2017. **