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Roasted Pepper Ristra Sculpture/Wall Hanging

This homage to the wonderful pepper ristras of the Southwest was actually first intended as a bandsaw box, of all things. We did a glue up of a stack of solid cherry wood cuts, but when attempting to cut out the box design, there was an incident that prevented the project’s completion as envisioned. We were left with a hollowed out pepper shape and a tall pepper plug that had formed the interior. That’s when we got the idea for the ristra, and the project took off from there. All of the pepper forms were hand sanded and then stained with an assortment of acrylic artists paints suspended in a tintable-base medium. The finish is a satin wipe-on polyurethane to mimic the subtle sheen of a real pepper ristra. The piece is assembled with two sizes of copper wire, with the main wire being embellished with assorted glass beads to represent pepper seeds on the interior of the hollow pepper at the top of the structure. End to end, this item measures 28 inches long, and approximately 3 inches deep and 5 inches wide, depending on individual pepper arrangement.

Note, due to the wire-on-wire construction of this piece, the individual peppers move freely around their connection points on the central wire. This means that its owner, upon removing the item from packing, will need to gently arrange the peppers around the wire once more to fan them out, but it also means that the owner is free to shift the arrangement a bit from that shown in the photographs. The wires are quite flexible, and even the main “spine” could be gently curved beyond what has already been done to achieve a more flared out pepper arrangement if so desired, so long as the process is done with care.

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