Patti Hughes, a Sonoita resident since 2019, has had a circuitous journey to her current trade as a silver jewelry artist. A native of Huntington Beach California, Hughes worked as a veterinary technician and as a manager of an equine rental string before marriage and children.
She then trained as a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines where she spent the next eight years traveling about the country. This was when a class in silverwork first caught her eye and she began exploring her creative side in this new-found endeavor.
With children grown and a crumbling marriage, Hughes moved to Bridgeport, California where she worked at a guest ranch. Her people skills led to her working at the reservation desk and resolving conflicts with staff and/or guests. Her equine skills led to her taking out trail rides and cleaning stalls and her creative skills and love of western crafts found her producing more silverwork.
Hughes, who is self -taught, said that she “learned by doing.” Until recently she crafted much of her art without expensive machinery to assist her. Her partner since 2015, fellow artist, leather craftsman and horsehair hitcher Douglas Krause has been a great fan and supporter of her work. He presented her with a gift of a 20-ton press to assist her in her creations. Hughes stated that “most ladies like something more feminine” but the press was a perfect and most welcome gift.
Mostly creating her jewelry for sale as a hobby, Hughes will occasionally do custom work. Her creations are for sale at her Facebook and Instagram Page at “Ranch 52.”