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Brian Lebel’s High Noon Auction, Mesa AZ

Brian Lebel’s High Noon Auction, Mesa AZ.(January 23-24, 2016) was once again the setting for the 4th annual TCAA Emerging Artists’ Competition.This year featured Bit & Spur Makers along with Rawhide Braiders.

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The weekend kicked off Friday afternoon with a meet and greet with TCAA members and fellow participants. Saturday morning the TCAA judges did their jobs and at 1:00pm each discipline had a 3 hour open forum discussion with TCAA members covering everything from Technical, Artistic and Business aspects of their trades. As all this was happening the public were viewing and voting on the 1st annual Peoples Choice Award. At 5:00pm on the High Noon Auction main stage the TCAA Judges announced and invited up the winners of the two disciplines along with the Peoples Choice, introducing them to the crowd.

High_Hoon_2016_02The TCAA winners each received a $2000.00 cash award along with an expense paid trip(valued also at $2000.00) to the annual Traditional Cowboy Arts Exhibition and Sale in conjunction with Cowboy Crossings at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OKlahoma. Where they will not only enjoy the opening weekend festivities but will be introduced on stage banquet night! The peoples choice award was $500.00 in each category.

High_Hoon_2016_03Sunday morning the participants had  the choice of a private critique of their piece with the TCAA judges or visiting amongst themselves. At 3:00pm everyone said Good Bye to old and new found friends before heading for home.

A Big Thank You goes out to TCAA friends and sponsors-

  • Brian and Melissa Lebel- Old West Events
  • Alan and Nadine Levin
  • Greg Braddock
  • Bill Welch of Cowboy Legacy Gallery

Also the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association members who gave up bench and family time to attend, judge and mentor-

  • Nate Wald TCAA President
  • Wilson Capron TCAA Vice President
  • Leland Hensley
  • Ernie Marsh
  • Scott Hardy

High_Hoon_2016_04Last but certainly not least Congratulation to all the Emerging Artists for your efforts in attending and creating such nice pieces, you should all be very proud! It was a pleasure to meet and visit with all of you.

High_Hoon_2016_05And Yes I know WHO WON!!!!! Congratulations to Bit & Spurmaker, Kain Garcia, Lipan Texas and Rawhide Braider, Graeme Quisenberry, Higley Arizona who both not only won the TCAA award but also the Peoples Choice award.

See you all next year for the Emerging Artist Competition featuring Western Silversmithing along with Saddlemakers.

TCAA Founding Member

Scott Hardy

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The TCAA Fellowship In Action

 

Beau Compton just finished 7 days of intensive – very intensive – training in my shop as part of his TCAA Fellowship. In that time we concentrated on design, die work, forming, fabrication, engraving and filigree along with this we had long discussions on pricing, business practices and continuing education. It was a very productive time.

At one point Beau commented to me that 5 years ago he didn’t know if he would ever get to meet Mark Drain or myself and now thanks to the TCAA Fellowship he has spent time in both our shops.

I personally want to thank Beau for being a focused student and for his dedication to Western Silversmithing.

I want to remind anyone interested in applying for the TCAA Fellowship Scholarship program please remember entries close April 1st and if you have applied before don’t hesitate to apply again. You are allowed and encouraged to apply multiple times.
For more information go to TCAA website or contact a TCAA member.

Scott Hardy

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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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2014 TCAA Exhibition

The 16th annual Traditional Cowboy Arts Association Exhibition and Sale, held October 11 at Oklahoma City’s National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, featured 48 one-of-a-kind pieces from 14 active and emeritus members of the organization. TCAA artists include some of the world’s most respected saddlemakers, rawhide braiders, bit and spur makers, and western silversmiths.

Photo Credit: www.ownbeyphotography.com

Photo Credit: www.ownbeyphotography.com

Ninety-six percent of exhibited pieces sold during the show, or in the days immediately after, generating sales of $440,265. The show ran concurrently with the Cowboy Artists of America’s 49th annual sale; the TCAA and CAA exhibitions comprise the National Cowboy Museum’s annual Cowboy Crossings event.

Left to right: TCAA Fellowship recipients Beau Compton, Conley Walker and Steve Mason; 2014 TCAA Emerging Artist Competition winners Bret Haskett and Brian Hochstrat (also a new TCAA member); and TCAA president Ernie Marsh. Photo Credit: Carolyn Seelen/National Cowboy Museum

Left to right: TCAA Fellowship recipients Beau Compton, Conley Walker and Steve Mason; 2014 TCAA Emerging Artist Competition winners Bret Haskett and Brian Hochstrat (also a new TCAA member); and TCAA president Ernie Marsh. Photo Credit: Carolyn Seelen/National Cowboy Museum

Following the show, TCAA announced the addition of three new members: Alberta bit and spur maker Richard Brooks; Idaho bit and spur maker Brian Hochstrat; and Texas saddlemaker Troy West. The group also named its 2014-15 fellowship winners; Arizona silversmith Beau Compton and Idaho saddlemaker Conley Walker will each receive $12,000 in educational funding to advance their skills through one-on-one mentoring sessions with TCAA members. Previous fellowship recipients include Texas silversmith Braidie Butters (2012) and Alberta saddlemaker Steve Mason (2013). To date, TCAA has awarded more than $120,000 in fellowships and scholarships for western craftsmen.

The Cowboy Crossings event lineup included a workshop by TCAA saddlemaker Chuck Stormes. The workshop focused on saddle tree design, construction and fit. Photo Credit: Gretchen Jeane/National Cowboy Museum

The Cowboy Crossings event lineup included a workshop by TCAA saddlemaker Chuck Stormes. The workshop focused on saddle tree design, construction and fit. Photo Credit: Gretchen Jeane/National Cowboy Museum

In the week preceding the show, Alberta saddlemaker Chuck Stormes, a TCAA founding member, led a saddle construction workshop with assistance from Oklahoma saddlemaker and fellow TCAA member John Willemsma. Students from across North America attended the workshop, held at the museum, with an additional session at Willemsma’s Guthrie shop. Sessions focused on saddle tree design, construction and fit.

TCAA saddlemaker John Willemsma examines a saddle tree during the workshop. Saddlemaking students from across North America participated. Photo Credit: Carolyn Seelen/National Cowboy Museum

TCAA saddlemaker John Willemsma examines a saddle tree during the workshop. Saddlemaking students from across North America participated. Photo Credit: Carolyn Seelen/National Cowboy Museum

Founded in 1998, TCAA is dedicated to preserving and promoting the skills of saddlemaking, bit and spur making, silversmithing and rawhide braiding, and the role of these traditional crafts in the cowboy culture of the North American West. The National Cowboy Museum will host the group’s 17th exhibition, scheduled for October 10, 2015.

View an online catalog of the 2014 show, including a limited number of works still available for sale here.

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Western Leather Academy

3_students_spring_2014Pedro Pedrini saddle shop is also home of the Western Leather Academy, a saddle making and leather workmanship school . Here is the spring 2014 tuition with Gene Kirkendall from Lakeport, California, James Brachet from France, and Rocky Armitage from Jamestown California

Gene Kirkendall

Gene Kirkendall

James Brachet

James Brachet

Rocky Armitage

Rocky Armitage

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Floral Carving Class at Christoval, Texas

Capron classCary Schwarz taught a design and floral carving class at Christoval, Texas June 17,18. Ten students spent one day working on paper learning principles of design, and a systematic way of laying visual information down. The second day featured instruction on swivel knife work, stamping tool selection and use. This session was held at Wilson and Katy Capron’s home and shop where the students enjoyed world class hospitality and Katy’s fabulous meals.

 
Students attending:
Morgan Seaman
Ross Bullinger
Clint Haverty
Russ Harris
Ely Ganzer
Dylan Randall
Taylor Meeske
Wayne Decker
Jeff Greer

Cody Briggs

 
It was a good time had by all!
 
– Cary Schwarz
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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.

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Amy Raymond

raymondbitLast week I had the pleasure of having  Amy Raymond from Helix OR. learning about bridle bits and we spent the week making one. Already an accomplished spur maker she comes from a ranching family in the Pendleton Oregon area and in fact is in charge of the Pendleton Cattle Barons Annual Cowboy Gear Exhibition and Show, an event that I am proud to participate in. She put in some long but productive hours and managed to have a nice one completed just in time to catch a plane home. I’m confident she will have much success in the future of her business. – Ernie Marsh

ar-marsh1 ar-marsh2

 

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Wilson Capron’s Drawing Class

wc-class-photoA Drawing /Engraving class today in Wilson Capron’s shop is wrapping up. The class started Thursday morning with exercises in developing their skills of observation to enhance their drawings and designs. After lunch each day engraving mechanics and problems have been addressed.

Cary Schwarz and his son T.J. are here filming for a future video featuring these exercises in drawing.