Our Featured Artist for this month is is Idaho saddle maker Rick Bean. A TCAA member since 2004, Rick has taken the art of Saddle making to new levels of artistic quality. His passion and devotion to his chosen trade are quite evident in his finished work and conversation. As we write these short comments we try to give a more well rounded view of our members, but as we have never heard Rick talk about anything but saddles, we asked Ricks wife Kristie for some input.
This is what she came up with. Back in 1976 when just a budding teenager, Rick Bean chose his own road. He was going to be a saddle maker, and he has never deviated from that path. His favorite topic of discussion is saddles. He draws them, dreams of them and occasionally builds one. The swivel knife is his favorite tool and he has mastered it well. His next best tool is a 00 Pony shovel- not to downplay the swivel knife- but some guys can dig better than others. Everybody has their vices however, and Rick likes tools, trees and rocks. His 15 acre property is crammed with trees, shrubs, plants and lots of cool rocks, none of which are native.
Conveniently located in the middle of his house is his trick saddle shop, filled with cool sewing machines and tools. A silver shop, wood shop, machine shop, art studio and wife are all close by. Occasionally, life interrupts and he leaves his paradise to visit his parents. Other than food and the company of his lovely wife, Rick has a one-track mind: SADDLES!