Ira has ranched here in the Nebraska Panhandle his entire life. The story of
learning to bend rope is a bit of a windy one, but it's worth telling if your a
mind to listen. If not, just click on the links at the left and you'll go
straight to the rope stuff.
Here's Ira's story, straight from the horses
I've been making things out of horseshoes. rope, and wood all my life. but
just a few years ago I found out I could sell these things at arts and crafts
One thing led to another, and we started making things out of barn wood. One
of the first was picture frames. I was making these tiny horseshoes to decorate
picture frames, and someone told me they were small enough to make in to
earings. So we started selling earings.
Then we started making barn wood clocks. The clocks were selling real well,
and we had an opportunity to put them on QVC. That was a real learning
experience. We sold 900 clocks in about 4 minutes, and 1500 clocks in all.
Imagine trying to find enough weathered barn wood to make 1500 clocks...
After making the earings, barn wood, and horseshoe art for several years, I
started making rope art around 1996. I had made some of the rope work about 40
years ago, but had no idea I could sell it. The craft shows proved me wrong on
that. People loved the rope art and I have added many new designs since I
I use a special process (it's a secret) of putting wire inside the rope. That
makes it stiff and I can bend it into letters and shapes. It makes a really
unique wall decoration, and we sell so much of it that I have had to stop making
some of the other things just to keep up with the rope work.
I'm still living in the same old ranch house I was born in almost 68 years
ago. I hope to be raising cows and horses and doing rope art for a long time. I
have met many wonderful people through my rope art work, and I hope you will
enjoy having it on your wall.