CREEDE — Creede is celebrating 45 years of “Extraordinary Treasure Hunting.” In 1974, a metalsmith by the name of Jennifer Inge arrived in Creede from Dallas, Texas, and opened a business. At the time, she was unsure of how the venture would fare. Since that time, Rare Things Gallery of Treasures has become one of the most well-known stops in Creede that has attracted visitors from around the globe. Furthermore, recent patrons include Johnny Depp and Jason Momoa.
The gallery showcases Inge’s collection of handcrafted gemstone and horsehair jewelry, as well as the work of many other talented artists. Some of the highlights of the gallery include a sunlit showroom that glimmers with an array of studio jewelry along with paintings, sculpture, photography, architectural antiques and decorative arts.
While she is known for her jewelry-making skills, Inge considers herself a “professional treasure hunter.” Inge also enjoys exploring Mineral County and the San Juan Mountains by horseback. She has noted that every ride brings a wealth of inspiration and a pack-horse loaded with treasure. She enjoys the challenge of making a distinct piece of jewelry with each project she does. She also enjoys interacting with customers at the gallery. “I live for show and tell,” she said.
Though Inge’s first artistic passion is metal-smithing, she is most known for her fine horsehair braiding. The Inge Horsehair Jewelry Collection is among the most unique in the world. Childhood braiding and macramé, along with college studies in anthropology, lead her to decipher antique patterns and invent new ones. Her work has shown in galleries and museum shops across the country and memorializes the cherished equine friends of horse lovers.