Changes to the Emerging Artists’ Contest

Hello from the TCAA

The Emerging Artists’ Competition was founded by the TCAA in order to create an opportunity for aspiring craftsmen to show their work and gather as a community of like-minded people. We are all in this journey together and together we can improve our industry and preserve our culture.

The Rules:

  • Contestants must attend to be in the competition.
  •  Contestants are responsible for your own piece, if you want insurance you must supply it. The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association, its members, or Brian Lebel’s High Noon Action & Show are not responsible for you or your work.
  •  Each participant is allowed one(1) item;
  •  The contestants piece has to be at the TCAA Emerging Artists’ booth – High Noon Action & Show, Mesa Convention Center, Mesa, AZ.
  •  Dismissal 3pm that Sunday.

Contestants are welcome to sell their work at the show but please just step out of the booth to do so. The public will be viewing the work all day Saturday and Sunday so they can take the opportunity to make new connections.

Below you will find an itinerary for what we have planned in Mesa. We have tried to improve the experience in Mesa by giving the contestants a schedule of events to refer back to.

Friday:

  • You and your work need to be at the TCAA booth area by 10am
  •  Booth set up will happen the majority of the day
  •  Meet and Greet late afternoon / early evening hours. A definite time has yet to be set because of scheduling with the Convention Center. We will keep you informed, but make plans to attend

Saturday:

  •  9am – 12pm TCAA judging
  •  1pm – 4pm will be an open forum. The disciplines will separate into individual rooms to talk shop. You will have the judges at center stage to ask anything you want. This is your opportunity to get your questions answered. We will cover everything from the nuts and bolts of how we create to the business side of making a living doing what we love. It will be up to you to bring the questions. The more interaction we have, the better this time will be.
  •  5pm Winners announced. Everyone will be asked to attend the opening of the High Noon Auction where we are given time to announce the winners. The two winners will be called to the front for a quick photo.

Sunday:

  •  9am – 12pm Optional Critiques. If you are interested in getting a critique of your work it is up to you ask. We will be glad to explain what we find in your piece, but we don’t want to force our opinions on anyone. The disciplines will gather in a room to discuss the work with an open mind of simply improving what we do. There is something for us all to learn from each other’s work.
  •  Dismissal is 3pm. You can not leave until 3pm Sunday to ensure a quality show is present for the public to view. Please make plans accordingly. If you have problems then let us know please.
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Bridle Bit Form, Function and Fabrication

We had a great week at the  2015 TCAA Bridle Bit Form, Function and Fabrication seminar held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in OKC. A group of very enthusiastic students was subjected to all the information we could cram into 3-1/2 days.

Greg Darnall started, and rightly so at the beginning with the anatomy of the horse and demonstrated different bridles explaining the purpose of their designs.

Ernie Marsh followed that with a slide presentation and discussion of building a spade bit from scratch start to finish as well as some examples of silver inlay.

Wilson Capron did a bit making presentation  demonstrating silver floral overlay, and a live demonstration on his techniques of hand forging  mouthpieces, hand engraving and finished up with a very informative business discussion.

Ernie said: “We all made some new friends and reconnected with others. I am pretty sure this week will give the attendees some direction in the business of making bridle bits and we are pretty excited to see the results in their future work.”

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2015 Emerging Artists’ Report

2015 Emerging Artist Competition

January 24-25, 2015 saw the 3rd annual Traditional Cowboy Arts Association Emerging Artist Competition held at Brian Lebel’s High Noon Sale & Auction in Mesa Arizona.

Each year the competition high-lights two of the Traditional trades, this year 9 Western Silversmiths along with 8 Saddlemakers participated. What a fantastic weekend of discussion on pieces and camaraderie!

The calibre of work produced by the makers certainly made the judges jobs difficult but in the end they had picked winners.

Photos courtesy of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

The silver portion was won by Braidie Butters of Delheart, Texas with a solid Sterling Silver functioning padlock, yes a lock! This would look fantastic on any ranch gate or coach trunk.

Darcy Kabatoff of Mission British Columbia won the saddle portion with a fully carved square skirt 3B Visalia style saddle. Standing looking at Darcy’s saddle it was tough not to want to cinch up and ride!

Thank You to the judges- Pedro Pedrini and John Willemsma for saddles, Scott Hardy and Mark Drain for Silversmiths, along with Wilson Capron for taking care of the TCAA information display.

But a very special Thank You for the TCAA Emerging Artist sponsors- 

Brian and Melissa Lebel
Alan and Nadine Levin
Greg Braddock

2016 will feature Bit & Spur Makers along with Rawhide Braiders. See you there!

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The TCAA Story

You’ve wondered what this whole TCAA deal is all about. Hear the story told by it’s members, filmed in Alberta this spring. Video by A.J. Mangum.

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Saddle Tree Workshop October 7-10, 2014

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TCAA SADDLE TREE WORKSHOP AT NATIONAL COWBOY MUSEUM, OKLAHOMA CITY
October 7-10, 2014

SADDLE MAKERS and HORSEMEN

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn the terminology of saddle trees and demystify
the selection of a suitable tree for horse and rider.

Chuck Stormes brings 52 years of saddle making and 34 years of saddle tree making experience
to a three and one half day clinic that will answer your questions, explode myths and give you the
confidence that comes from understanding the requirements of fitting both horse and rider.

This is not “How to make saddle trees”. This workshop will address the how and why of selecting a tree
that is suitable for the types of horses and horseback activities that riders pursue. Saddlemakers who
purchase their trees will gain valuable knowledge, tree makers will increase their understanding of
fitting issues and riders will learn how to work with their saddle maker as an informed customer.

To enroll contact Don Reeves, National Cowboy Museum, 405 478-2250 ext 227

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TCAA at the Prix de West

tcaa_3The TCAA was represented by Scott Hardy and Wilson Capron in Oklahoma City at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum during the Prix de West art show June 12-14.  Many opportunities were had to visit with board members and patrons of the Museum’s.  Mike Nicola, affiliate of the TCAA and board member of the Museum, was gracious enough to chauffeur them around and make sure they were included in all activities. A meeting with a portion of the Cowboy Crossings  committee and some museum staff was attended Saturday morning.  We are very excited about some changes for the up coming show.  Be checking your mailboxes and/or social media for save the date cards and information.  If you aren’t on the mailing list please contact Ernie Marsh at marshbros@silverstar.com.

TCAA Emerging Artists’ Competition

Well it’s that time of year again for anyone wanting to apply for the 2018 Traditional Cowboy Arts Associations Emerging Artist Competition.  Again, it will be held at Brian Lebel’s High Noon Show & Auction, Mesa Convention Center 263N center Street, Mesa Arizona on January 20-21st 2018.

Entries closing date to August 31st
All applicants will be notified by September 15th

 

STARTING NOW

To further heighten participation and interest in the Emerging Artist Competition the TCAA’s proud to announce effective immediately significant changes to the competition:

CATEGORIES

TCAA will move from hosting 2 disciplines per year to spotlighting on 1.
January 2018 – Western Silversmiths

PRICE MONEY AND VALUE

The TCAA Emerging Artists’ Competition will now pay 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place!

First Place – $5000.00 value, cash and prizes ($2500 check, $2500 value for travel and hotel, Museum package to the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association Annual Exhibition & Sale at Cowboy Crossings held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Oklahoma City, Oklahoma).

The winner will not only enjoy the weekend festivities but also be introduced on stage during the opening night banquet.

Second Place- $1000.00 check.
Third Place- $500.00 check

Also Brian and Melissa Lebel award $500.00 for the Brian Lebel’s High Noon Peoples Choice

Award voted by the Public.

APPLICATIONS

Saddlemakers that have already applied for the competition your applications have been forwarded and you need not apply again. New applications are being accepted as of today, please follow application process on the TCAA Website. As before the Top 10 applicants will be excepted

Any Questions?

Contact Wilson Capron- wkcapron@gmail.com OR Scott Hardy- scott@scotthardy.com

The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association is excited to offer this revamped competition to the Cowboy trades! We believe by focusing on 1 discipline per year we can give participates more exposure to collectors, public and other Western Crafts people creating opportunity and growth in the industry.

TCAA Emerging Artists’ Competition Schedule

January 2017- Saddle Makers
January 2018- Western Silversmiths
January 2019- Rawhide Braiders
January 2020- Bit & Spur Makers

Here are bullet points of the application and Rules:

  • There is no official application form, simply email a complete bio with personal photo along with as many photos of recent work(make sure photos are of appropriate size so they are easy to see and under 1MB) as possible to both Wilson Capron – wkcapron@gmail.com or Scott Hardy- scott@scotthardy.com
  •  If you have applied before you can apply again.
  •  The top 10 in each category will be excepted

If you are accepted:

  • You are allowed 1(one) piece.
  •  You must personally deliver your work and be responsible for it during the event.
  •  The piece has to be at the TCAA booth by 10:00am on the date stated above
  •  This is a competition Not a Sales Event, the TCAA will not sell your work. We will not post prices but if there is interest in a piece, that is between the interested party and Craftsperson and should be done away from the display.
  •  The winners (1 in each discipline) will be announced at the beginning of Brian Lebel’s High Noon Auction.
  •  If you win you receive a check along with travel and hotel expenses to Cowboy Crossings Traditional Cowboy Arts Association exhibition and sale at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in October. There you will be introduced on stage during the banquet.

Things to Remember:

  •  Although this is a competition the TCAA is trying to build community between Craftspeople, we believe the Emerging Artist weekend is a great opportunity for everyone to exchange ideas and form friendships both furthering their disciplines.
  •  TCAA members and Judges in attendance are all there on a volunteer basis to try to further Western Craftsmanship and camaraderie in the disciplines.
  •  Everyone in attendance is expected to be polite and professional – those who are not will be asked to leave.
  •  If you would like a critique of your work from the Judges that will be available but if you don’t ask it won’t be given.

Please come and enjoy!

Hotel accommodations – there are many in the area, here is the Host Hotel for the show (ask for High Noon Rate)

Phoenix Marriott Mesa
200N Centennial Way, Mesa, AZ
Phone 1-800-835-9873 or 480-898-8300

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Hermann Oak Tannery Tour

herman-oak-tour-01I was fortunate to be invited to join all the TCAA saddle makers & Don Reeves to tour the Hermann Oak Leather Tannery. On March 29/14 I flew from Calgary, Alberta to St Louis, MO.  Shep Hermann picked up Chuck Stormes, Perdro Perdini and myself and took us to our hotel in St. Louis, the historic Missouri Athletic Club.

March 30 was the first of our two day tour of Hermann Oak.  We were all picked up from the hotel by Hermann Oak staff and taken to the tannery. After introductions we sat down in the main office with Shep Hermann and some key Hermann Oak employee’s.  Over the next couple hours Shep explained the plans he had for us in regards to the tannery tour, the company history, and their business philosophy.

herman-oak-tour-02After our discussions in the office the group of saddle makers along with Shep and some of the department heads from Hermann Oak we started out tour of the tannery. The tour was in chronological order from when the cowhide arrives to the finished leather.  According to the staff this tour was by far the most in-depth Hermann Oak has ever done, they explained each and every process of tanning leather from the hides arriving salted, to the cleaning and un-hairing process,  then the hides are taken to the rocker room where they start the process of tanning the leather using some machinery and tanning vats that are over 130 years old, this process can take 2-6 weeks. Then the leather goes into large wood drums to put back into the leather fat liquors and oils. This process takes a couple days, the leather is then put thru a slicker machine and then taken upstairs to the drying room where it is hung and dried.

After we finished the tour of the tanning process we had a very detailed question and answer period with Shep Hermann, the department heads and the chemists going over all the different processes of tanning leather. These discussions were very informational for us saddle makers and for the Herman Oak staff. This concluded day 1 of our tannery tour.

The next morning we started with another quick question and answer period, we then went upstairs to complete the tour of the tannery.

herman-oak-tour-03We spent a large amount of time going the grading process, learning all the different defects in leather and what the effects of these are.  Along with the grading department heads we went over each and every defect, how the leather is selected and graded etc. Shep had all of us saddle makers to make a list of our top 5 most important leather defects. This discussion was again very educational for us makers and the Hermann Oak staff.

herman-oak-tour-04Next we met Earl and Ron whom are the two gentlemen who grade the leather.

We all had many questions for Earl & Ron in regards to how leather is graded, then the staff brought to us many different sides of leather so we could see the different defects and grades of leather, as a group we had very details discussions on each side of leather we looked at.

herman-oak-tour-05After our discussion on grading leather we finished the tour of the tannery, seeing all the other processes involved,  splitting the leathers, dying and hot stuffing with wax and much, much more.

herman-oak-tour-06We then spent another few hours in the office, with another very in-depth discussion with Shep Hermann & staff with any and all questions we had about the tanning process or leather in general.

Something Cary Schwarz said after the tour which I had to agree with 100% “this was a life changing event, I’ll never look at Hermann Oak leather in the same way after visiting their tannery.”

I was simply amazed at the amount of knowledge that I gained about leather and the tanning process. This was yet another awesome experience, many thanks to the TCAA and the fellowship program.

Steve Mason

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An Invitation To Visit Hermann Oak Leather

Throughout 2013, the TCAA had ongoing talks with Mr. Shep Hermann of Hermann Oak Leather regarding maintenance of saddles and leather products. As a result of these exchanges, Mr. Hermann became interested in the TCAA and its goals. While attending Cowboy Crossings last October at the National Cowboy Museum, he invited the TCAA saddle makers to St.Louis for a tour and talks with key tannery workers.

Those invited included Rick Bean, Pedro Pedrini, Cary Schwarz, Chuck Stormes, John Willemsma, Steve Mason (Tcaa Fellowship 2014) and Don Reeves, National Cowboy Museum Curator.

On March 31st and April 1st, 2014 we met at the Hermann Oak Tannery for a complete tour, including a series of lively, informative discussions centered on the details of tanning and using traditional vegetable tanned leathers.

 I believe leather to be the first chemically-produced product in the history of mankind, because it can be produced by accident and is one of the most useful articles throughout history. – Shep Hermann

This may well represent the first time discussions at that level have taken place between experienced saddle makers and a leading tanner of saddle skirting.

The TCAA extends its sincere thanks to Shep Hermann and the entire staff of Hermann Oak Leather for organizing this historic meeting.

Please enjoy the accompanying video which provides a window into the operation of one of America’s most celebrated tanneries.

For further information please visit their website

Steve Mason – 2013 TCAA Fellowship Recipient

2013 TCAA Fellowship recipient Steve Mason (High River, Alberta) spent four days with Cary Schwarz recently.

Here are Steve’s thoughts after the time at Cary’s shop in Idaho:

Time for another update on my TCAA Fellowship experience.

I have just returned home from 4 days spent with Cary Schwarz, 2 days of private instruction working on specific details and problem areas of saddle construction, and 2 days taking a floral design & carving course with 3 other students.

Cary’s is a first class teacher & human being. The hospitality he showed us was amazing, and with every question I asked, Cary gave a thoughtful and very informative answer.

One of the most inspiring things from the weekend was Cary’s true passion to improve his own craft. To see a craftsman of Cary’s caliber still working as hard as he can to make every saddle better than the last, was very inspirational and will help me to continue my never ending quest to improve my craft. And this should benefit the industry of makers as a whole to never stop trying to improve their work.

I would like the thank the TCAA for the amazing journey I am on with the fellowship.
And I would highly recommend any gearmaker out there to get your application in to the TCAA for next years fellowship, the applications need to get to Scott Hardy before the deadline of April 1. Whether you are a silversmith, bit & spur maker, braider or saddle maker, this is an opportunity of a lifetime to improve your craft.

Steve Mason
2014 TCAA Fellowship recipient.