~Mission/What we do
~Our Story
~Technologies used
at the factory

~Bristle Cone Pine
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This is Our story

      We have been making quality jewelry boxes since 1980. The first box was made in Kansas as a prototype by our founder Cary Spannagel to the larger selection of jewelry boxes now being made.  The next 14 years were spent modifying and upgrading the now famous "American Premier Jewelry boxes".

      The Bristlecone pine tree is one of the oldest trees alive, its longevity and aged patina add uniqueness of beauty and strength to the jewelry boxes. This wood is a natural fit for our jewelry boxes.   Our designs are created from the unique qualities of the wood.

      We select a Bristlecone pine log and begin to bandsaw it into workable blocks of wood. We then inspects it for flaws of unusual shapes and designs, sometimes you may find worm holes or charred specs imbedded into the rings. We then choose to use these flaws as part of our design. Every jewelry box made is a one of a kind and no two are alike. What we do next is a magical combination of fitting each part together to make a whole jewelry box. Finally, we shape them with sanding machines that we either invented or modified.

      Patience has a major role in creating these boxes from twisted trees.  Over the years we hand lined each drawer in every jewelry box. The velour was  of a certain type of thickness, color, and style to accentuate the beauty of the wood grain of each jewelry box. Now we use a easier method that looks just as good as the old method...The boxes are now ready to be cared for with a high quality finish that we then polish during the last step of the finishing. The amount of coats of finish is dependent on the absorption of each grain in the wood. These boxes are now ready to be inspected. If they pass, they are ready for shipment to various customers throughout the United States, and a few outside the USA.

      Our family has a love for all types of wood and the cedar wood primarily from the Rocky Mountains became an instant favorite for us. Our first jewelry box was from this type of wood. The cedar comes in a variety of shades of colors and shapes. There was a time when all we made was from this type of wood. However, the varied shapes prevented him from selling them to his customers. On occasions, he makes those vintage shapes from the most unusually twisted tree branches or trunks of the tree. These jewelry boxes sell for more because they are more difficult to make. --If you happen to be visiting Breckenridge, Colorado stop bye and visit the Cabin Fever Store.  You will be awed at the pieces that we have created.  They are definitely a one of a kind!

      The Aspen tree leaves put on their beautiful fall colors around September in the Colorado mountains. We have added the aspen wood to his line of jewelry boxes. A great many Colorado gift shops were requesting he make boxes out of this wood. They made an excellent gift for those customers who admired the Aspen tree for its beauty and a reminder of their visit to our beautiful state. The aspen wood is much easier to work with and the price of each jewelry box made from this tree is less than Bristlecone pine and cedar. Aspen has a unique beauty that we successfully bring out, the larger pieces have more character and beauty than the smaller ones.

      Bristlecone pine, cedar (Rocky Mountain Juniper), and Aspen are harvested from the surrounding mountains where the Spannagels live. They live in the San Luis Valley. This valley is larger than the state of Connecticut in the USA and larger than the country of Switzerland, (Colorado is known as the Switzerland State). The San Luis Valley is surrounded by two mountain ranges. To the east is the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range that includes 12 mountain peaks over 14,000 ft. in elevation. To the west is the San Juan Mountain range the primary location of the Bristlecone pine trees. Both mountain ranges are part of the Rocky Mountains in the USA.

      All of the wood the Spannagels use come from dead standing trees that have been harvested in the summer months. All of the wood they use is indigenous to the San Luis Valley. The Bristlecone they use ranges in age from 250 years to 2,500 years, by counting the rings in the wood, age can be determined. The cedar ranges in age from 50 years to 1,500 years. Aspen is a fast growing tree and is not in the ancient classification like Bristlecone pine and cedar. Its average age is around 30 years.

      Our mom (who is no longer with us sadly) Geraldine Spannagel has an interesting family. Her father introduced the Bristlecone pine trees to our dad Cary (who is no longer with us either sadly) years before he ever used this wood to make our beautiful boxes. Her father told them that he had heard of a fire that had left a stand of trees charred and dead for almost one hundred years. -- They researched and discovered that the burn over area happened around 1873. His mother was half Ute Indian, when she was a small child her family would travel to the higher elevations of the mountains, gather the resin from these trees, and use it as chewing gum. The Ute Indians liked this particular resin because of its medicinal value, they called the tree ackawee.

      The Ute Indians started a fire to get rid of the Spanish settlers. The Utes mined gold and silver near there and the Spanish settlers were getting too close. There were also sacred ceremonial altars where the Utes worshiped their gods. They did not want any disturbance near these areas. The two cultures ended up marrying each other. The San Luis Valley has its own unique tribe of people that are a mix of Native American Indian and Spanish ancestry. The Spanish settlers have been living there since the later 1500's. The Indians hunted the migratory game and fished the streams, lakes, and rivers of this great Valley. They mined gold, silver, and turquoise. They used the Valley as a summer home gathering provisions for the cold, long winters.

      Cary Spannagels father Larry (no longer with us sadly) is of German-Dutch descent and his mother is of Dutch-Irish-German descent. The Spannagels came from Germany to the United States in 1864. (Span in German means the wood curl from a wood planer and nagel in German means nail. They immigrated to what is now the state of Illinois. His father fell in love with the San Luis Valley and moved there around 1948.)

      A very famous German author Fritz Spannagel wrote several books on woodworking in the 1920's. He was a professor of woodworking. Cary's father is also a retired professor of Industrial Arts; woodworking, welding, drafting, and lapidary. Cary became a teacher in 1978, certified to teach high school Industrial Arts; woodworking, welding, and drafting. He no longer teaches. Cary inherited a talent and taste for woodworking but his work sets him apart from his ancestors. He is a gifted artist and his talent is reflected in every piece that he painstakingly works on.

      Cary worked with his dad the first 14 years and went into business on his own with his family and at present are continuing the tradition of woodworking masterful crafts out of the worlds most unusual and historic wood. The intrinsic value acquired when you own a piece of our work is almost obvious. Wood this ancient is prized all over the world and through Bristle Cone Pine Company you can now possess a piece of history as well as treasure your own individual work of art.

      Our works are admired all over the world. We ship to Ireland, and Germany, and Canada, but mostly ship a great deal in the United States of America, especially to Alaska, California, and Colorado. The mountain regions of these countries and states are the most popular areas that customers seem to be the most interested in buying our product. National Parks, State Parks, Scenic Parks, and Amusement Parks also purchase our products for their gift shops.

      Romeo, Colorado is a very small town in rural America. We are located near the Colorado New Mexico border (New Mexico for those that do not know it is one of our 50 states!), about 16 miles from the New Mexico border. We are about one hour north of Taos, New Mexico and five hours south from Denver, CO.

      We carry a number of specialty items such as: pencil holders; gourmet products such as cutting boards, and beautiful coaster sets; urns; and Elite Signature Series jewelry boxes that are inlaid with American turquoise!  Our Elite Signature Series jewelry boxes are all of the works of art designed by Joshua Spannagel, handcrafted, shaped and formed. What sets these apart from the rest of the jewelry boxes is the size of the jewelry boxes; the drawers are sometimes rounded and have wonderful turquoise inlay in the handles. We hand sign the bottom of the box with a signature and date it upon completion of that individual piece. Every item we make is branded on the bottom with our company logo.

     We also make wonderfully made turned Bristle Cone Products from vases to candle holders to vases!  Jeremiah Spannagel also inlays some pieces with American turquoise.  They are some of the most unique and wonderfully made vases and they are all made out of Bristle Cone!  He also makes these vases out of Rocky Mountain Juniper, and a little out of Aspen as well.  He is currently expanding his product lines and keep tuned to our website as we will have more of his vases to show for you!  

      We at Bristle Cone Pine Company are proud of our work and we appreciate all inquiries we receive. We are very busy making these works of art and we want to apologize ahead of time if we do not answer the telephone as quick as we want to. Keep trying, but do not hesitate to leave your name, telephone number, or email us!  We try to answer every inquiry as soon as possible.