Caleb Skelton and Elissa Hastings went on a fishing trip for their first date seven years ago. While unusual, it sparked a passion for the outdoors that has fueled their thriving jewelry company Wild Foot Studio. As silversmiths, the couple fashions simple rings, necklaces and bracelets out of sterling silver, bronze and brass with many pieces incorporating handpicked stones such as turquoise, larimar and tiger’s-eye. “We are bringing a piece of the earth and making it into a wearable art form,” says Hastings. “To me, that is the most fun part of it.”
No Stone Unturned: After years of examining stones, the couple can tell the quality with one look or touch. They only buy stones that were mined, cut and polished by hand and look for interesting shapes such as ovals, triangles and teardrops. But they always come back to their favorite color. “We are really attracted to really veiny turquoise and light blue,” Hastings says. On the Move: Traveling is more than a hobby for Hastings and Skelton — it is how they plan to run their business. Currently, one remains in Cleveland to create pieces while the other travels to buy stones. But once they finish renovations on a 1974 Airstream named Sandy Sue, it will serve as their mobile home and studio. “It is really going to add to our creative process and making new pieces,” says Hastings. “We want to travel and see these places and meet new people.” Colorado and Washington are at the top of their must-see destinations. Silver Lining: Much of the couple’s jewelry, such as the rustic star studs ($32), is made with recycled sterling silver. After melting the silver down with a torch, the couple forms the material into tiny balls before adding details to the earrings. “Some of our best pieces are really hand-forged from scratch,” says Skelton. Free Spirits: To spark ideas, Skelton and Hastings like to scatter their inventory, which can include as many as 800 stones at once, and pick which ones draw their eye that day. “Sometimes I am not in the mood to make a symmetric piece. I want to make something organic and free,” Skelton says. “You can do that by choosing all of the right stones.”
A double-stone turquoise ring ($110) made with mined turquoise from Arizona represents the duo’s boho style. Wear it as a statement piece to add a natural element to any outfit. “Those colors of the desert and colors of the mountains show in my work because I’ve seen them up close and fell in love with them,” Hastings says.