Old Objects Find New Life as New, Useful Works of Art
After years of welding in her father’s shop, taking classes in high school, FFA, and learning through ag classes, Jill Lorang uses her red hot skill to create handcrafted home decor made from farm/ranch relics. Most often she works with barbed wire, barn wood, burlap, and other found objects.
The beauty of Lorang’s pieces, available online at The Farmer’s Daughter, goes beyond the fenced boundaries of forgotten fields. Lorang brings the heat into her shop to craft rustic wire decor that includes Christmas trees, Christmas ornaments, baskets, cowboy hats, cowboy boots, dragonflies, and garden art.
Consider her approach to barbed wire; quite possibly one of the most unusual repurposed objects.
“There is not a lot of people who like to work with barbed wire. It has a memory and when rolled off the fence it will slap you around. The more rusty it is, the more brittle and breaks, but that is what we like to work with. It has the look we want.”
Lorang’s father, Bob Inabnit, admits early on that Jill was exposed to everything he fixed or made from “things out of wore out stuff.” And then, it was Lorang’s turn. She liked the stuff that old fences are made of and discarded. She had an eye for 3D images.
An impulsive welder, Lorang started The Farmer’s Daughter in 2006 in Great Falls.
“After I was married in 2004, I started to weld again. I had the skill thanks to my dad. I liked working with him. My dad and I weld and braise. He has welded his whole life.”
Weekdays, busy with another job, Lorang hurries home to the Eden cattle ranch that she and husband, Kevin, operate, to don her welding mask, gloves, and long sleeve shirts.
If she’s not working at home, she travels to her dad and mom’s farm 35 miles east of Conrad, where, on a good day they can make thirty items. “She has the ideas; I just run with them,” Inabnit explains. “It is special to do things together with Jill.”
Lorang’s innovations are for interior and exterior. Customers will set the decor, perhaps a basket, in their house and then fill it with flowers and put it outside. As it rusts it picks up an outside patina and gives a different look.
The Farmer’s Daughter business is online. However, throughout the year, Lorang can be found displaying her works at trade shows all over the northwest.
“I love what I do. It’s a hobby. I hope to someday make it fulltime,” she says.
Locally, Winston Gallery and Snyder Drug, carry Lorang’s handmade objects. Her creations can also be found at Latigo & Lace in Augusta, and stores in Big Sky.
If you order online, you will have the product right away, if it is in inventory. If it has to be made, within two weeks you will have it. The Farmer’s Daughter is on Facebook or you can visit their website at www.mtfarmersdaughter.com