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Rustic Style and Natural Beauty

10/28/2015

Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

Born in Gatesville, Texas and raised in a military family, local artist Kathi Turner has spent most of her life traveling to foreign countries and bases throughout the US.  Kathi finished school in Washington State where she met her rancher husband, Tom, right out of high school. They started their first ranch together in Ellensburg, Washington, where Kathy grew to love the changing seasons on the open range and developed a keen interest in the local Native American culture. It was here Kathi met female elders of the Yakima Tribe who took her childhood hobby of beading to the next level by teaching her techniques of color, design, and material to use in her work. 

In 1976, Kathi and her husband and their two children relocated their ranch to southeastern Oregon, in Princeton, not far from the Nevada line. It was here in this remote open landscape that Kathi gained a new appreciation for the beauty of the high desert.  She was mesmerized by the diversity of the color palette, the gentle rolling lines across the open landscape, and the way the shadows danced across the vast surface. Author Rachel Carson wrote, “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” Kathi preserves the memory of this beauty in her jewelry designs. Without the reliability of satellite TV and often no radio, Kathi gathered books and magazines to search for new designs and techniques she could incorporate into her creations; as she would state, “driven by her desire to achieve.”

Recently, with the children grown, Kathi and her husband retired from ranching life and purchased a home in Scottsdale, AZ. This was now her chance to expand her jewelry creations into mixed metals and natural stones. She attended a few basic classes and with a torch in one hand, and a desire in the other, she developed a jewelry style called ‘Rustic Primitive.” Today, Kathi has grown her business into two beautiful studios, one in Winnemucca, Nevada and one in Scottsdale. She is thrilled to share her newest designs and welcomes visitors to both of her studios by appointment.

Each year, Kathi participates in the Superior Art Show in Winnemucca and the Sonoran Arts Festival in Carefree, as well as the Sonoran Arts League’s Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour each November. Her ranching roots constantly inspire her designs, her love for native cultures, and the imagistic landscapes of the desert Southwest.  Each piece she creates contains a little of her heart and soul and the spirit of the world we live in. 

To view more of Kathi Turner’s designs, visit www.highdesertcreations.com or www.facebook.com/HighDesertCreations, or to contact Kathi for a studio appointment, e-mail her at kathi89445@yahoo.com

Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield at flowingquill@yahoo.com.