Inside the Story: Silversmith's talent dates back hundreds of years

Inside the Story: Silversmith's talent dates back hundreds of years (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) An Ogden artist has a talent that dates back to the 1500s in his family.

There are 16 generations of silversmithing running through René Venegas' veins.

"My father taught me when I was five years old," Venegas said.

And René's father, Alvaro, was taught by his father, and so on--all the way back to the 15th century, or about 1498.

One of his ancestors is even created for making the first coin in the Americas in the 1600s.

The family tradition comes complete with an old-fashioned foot pump and tools. No electric machines are used when Venegas does his silversmithing.

"I love the old tools," he said.

Every item is completely handcrafted and made from scratch.

"That's the only way for you to create beautiful things," Venegas said.

Venegas was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia.

While living there, silversmithing was his art, but not his career. He was an attorney for the government, but came to Utah 12 years ago to get away from the violence in Colombia.

In Utah, he met his wife, Jenny, and they worked together to sell his items at a variety of shows.

But they wanted their own place, so last October Jenny and a friend opened up The Local Artisan Collective in downtown Ogden.

"Oh, we love it," Jenny Venegas said.

Venegas is passing along his craft by teaching at Weber State University, which is his passion.

If you're interested in Venegas' silversmithing, you can visit The Local Artisan Collective's website.