Ren Patch, a Gifted Montana-Based Metalsmith with a Golden Heart

Ren Patch is a gentle-hearted soul with a red beard and mustache, strong shoulders, and Viking-esque features who was born in a time where forging isn’t as commonplace as it once was. His creations speak for themselves, making everything with the “molten made” philosophy, meaning from molten-hot metals and sourced gems. In a rural Montana town, he is a landmark and a hidden gem incarnate. 

It’s evident that he values every piece he creates, and in his own words, “there is an allure to the inherent value of what I work with. Sometimes I respect this aspect, and other times I try to tear down. One day I could be making a gold and diamond ring with the goal to show off the diamond and its value; the next day I could be making a ring using a plain ole rock I found in the river set into silver – almost asking the question of what makes these things valuable!?  I personally do value sentiment over material, and it’s something I try to build into my creations. I suppose a good example of sentiment could be an engagement ring set I made for my brother. At first look it is a classic looking ring, but with context, its value for them is in its design. It was designed to be reminiscent of the rolling hills around his college town in Palouse, WA where they met, and two of the diamonds are actually from a pendant his mother used to wear before she passed away.”

© Ren Patch

He’s also notorious for taking mundane objects that we take for granted, like Casio watches, and making them fancy and prize and pride-worthy. His current project contains black diamonds (Ren, correct me if I’m wrong) on the bezel and a traditional dragon on the bracelet. 

© Ren Patch

A bespoke object that you can order from in his shop is a  crag ring with your favorite animal on it. In a give-away, Patch crafted 3 different animals on industrialist-looking, almost brutalist silver rings and intricately crafted a bee, wolf, and bear onto each ring’s front. 

© Ren Patch

It’s easy to recognize Patch as gentle-hearted when he happily does give-aways, but what makes him an even lovelier soul is his decision to donate a percentage of every paycheck that he gets to a charity he feels needs the most help. And with respect to George Floyd and the million of Americans united to find justice in a racially-toxic world, Patch put his heart into a hobo nickel of Floyd’s face with only the word “liberty” kept on its front. (To those who don’t know, a “hobo nickel” is usually a Buffalo Nickel that is carved to alter either the front or the back into something more unusual.)

© Ren Patch

His gift is genetic, his father is a goldsmith and Patch was able to work side-by-side with him when he was old enough. Although Patch held some jobs that were outside of jewelry-making and repair, it took him being laid off for him to find his true passion. His formative jeweler years were spent doing thousands of repairs in another jewelry shop. 

© Ren Patch

One big dream of his is to create a classical silver laurel crown reminiscent of the Greco-Roman pieces currently held in museums. Support and follow him on social media below. 

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