Skyline High School student Gracie Bricker plays basketball, rides in ranch horse competitions and makes Christmas crafts by welding horseshoes together. She pulls it all together to pursue her dream of attending college at Texas Tech next fall.
Gracie Bricker, Pratt-Skyline High School senior, has learned two things so far with her Supervised Agriculture Experience project through FFA. One, welding is easy, and two, selling items one has welded is not that easy.
"I've taken a welding class at Skyline and I am using those skills to meet a fine arts credit for school, plus make some money with the crafts I am making from horseshoes," Bricker said. "I'm really just doing it for fun, too."
On Saturday, Bricker set up a table to showcase and sell her Walking G Welding crafts at the annual Beta Gamma Arts and Crafts Show in Pratt's Municipal Building. She brought rustic pumpkins, painted and unpainted pumpkins, snowmen, wreaths and Christmas trees. All were crafted from horseshoes. She came up with most of the ideas herself, though she has kept an eye out for things to make in other avenues. Her FFA advisor, Anita DeWeese, also came along to help her set up and refine some marketing skills.
"Making the crafts and doing the welding is the easy part," Bricker said. "But selling is a lot harder."
Bricker found success at the craft show however, with customers buying nearly everything she had.
"I sold out of Christmas trees and the snowmen were pretty popular," she said. "I had a very good day selling."
As a busy high school student, Bricker said she likely wouldn't have a lot of time to make more Christmas gift horseshoe items. She is a scoring-leader on the Skyline girls basketball team and helps care for 9 quarter horses (plus two babies) at her family ranch west of Sun City.
Her goal with the welded horseshoe Christmas crafts was to make some money for college (she is already enrolled at Texas Tech for next fall), and she met that expectation. While she enjoys making horseshoe crafts, her real love is riding in ranch horse competitions, an activity which lasts from late spring through November. She hopes to be able to compete on the Texas Tech Ranch Rodeo Team in the future.
But between roping, riding, shooting baskets and finishing her senior year at Skyline, she does have plans to weld together some more boot holders, sunflowers and a few other horseshoe crafts for spring sales. She has access to plenty of horseshoes on the ranch, just finding time to put it all together is the tough part. It's been worth the effort so far, however, and a good learning experience for her SAE record book.