ARTISAN NEWS:
Work by more than 100 Artisans inside new Carmel store...read more

Location:
South Whitley
Medium:
Metalwork, bit and spur making
Availability:
By appointment, trade shows, website
FEATURED WORK
Lyn and Jay Ocken

“Our business began as an adventure to learn something we were both passionate about. A long line of horsemen and women preceded us.”

Lyn and Jay Ocken had no intention of building a business out metalworking. As a multi-generational “horse family,” they just wanted to use their creativity to make their own unique spurs, bits and buckles. What they discovered was a knack for creating functional art that appealed to a wide range of horse enthusiasts.

Jay is the blacksmith, forging the sterling silver and steel pieces that Lyn then engraves and embellishes with bronze and silver. “What I do is the basis for Lyn’s artistry,” says Jay. “Our work isn’t unique or beautiful until she touches it.”

After classes in engraving and time spent with expert bit and spur maker Vernon Lynes, the Ockens began to expand their business through referrals, some as far away as Australia. Most of their pieces are custom order, but they both want to see their business grow to include more of Lyn’s artistic expressions. The Ockens also want to elevate their metal work as a valuable traditional art form for Indiana.

Lyn feels the Indiana Artisan program gives them the avenue they need to market their business both here in Indiana for exhibition and wholesale for industry trade shows.

“We had also grown very tired of the box stores and products that were stamped out with no human hands ever touching them, and no heart going into how they were made,” Lyn says.

Ockens are now hopeful that they can soon be in the studio full-time. “We have two kids, 10 horses, 3 dogs, 2 cats and 14 chickens. It keeps us busy but we enjoy getting to do what we love on a daily basis.”

 Read this interesting article on the Ockens in My Indiana Home blog.