The Cowboy Arts School – Sign Up For TCAA Workshops

TCAA Education


February 9-12, 2016
Rawhide Braiding
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

In cooperation with the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum presents a workshop led by TCAA members Nate Wald and Leland Hensley. This hands-on workshop will focus on the fundamentals of rawhide braiding. Topics covered will include proper hide preparation and string cutting, string selection and basic braiding techniques. Gear function and construction as well as buttons and interweaves will be addressed.

Instructors: TCAA members Nate Wald and Leland Hensley
Skill level: Beginner to intermediate
Tuition: Nonmembers $400, Museum Members $380. Supply list provided.

Contact: Gretchen Jeane
Director of Education & Special Projects / National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73111
(405) 478-2250, Ext. 277

October 6-9, 2015
Advanced Inlay and Metal Finishing Techniques

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Workshop will cover inlay techniques, filing and stone finishing. In-class instruction will include demonstrations and hands-on activities.

The class will do a small project which includes several silver inlay techniques. Wire, sheet, flush and raised inlay will be covered in conjunction metal finishing processes including the use of stones.

A tool and material list will be provided to attendees beforehand.

Instructor: TCAA member John Ennis w/ Ernie Marsh assisting
Skill level: Intermediate to advanced
Tuition: $400

Classes will be held at the Museum in the Nona Jean Hulsey Rumsey Art Education Center with limited enrollment. In a change from previous years, enrollment is now open for both workshops. To secure your participation, a 50% deposit is required. Review the enrollment and cancellation policy at To enroll or be added to the interest list, contact me at (405) 478-2250, Ext. 277.

February 10-13, 2015
Function and Fabrication of Bits

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Workshop will include instruction on the function of the bit, the proper fabrication of the mouthpiece and shank and wrap up with discussion on the best business practices as they pertain to bit and spur making.

Instructor: TCAA members Ernie Marsh with Greg Darnall and Wilson Capron
Skill level: Intermediate to advanced.
Tuition: $400


October 7-10, 2014
“Saddle Tree, Selection and Fit”

Led by Chuck Stormes the fall workshop will be of interest to both saddle makers and serious horsemen. It is intended to demystify the terminology, geometry and anatomy involved in selecting a tree that is suitable for the horses, rider and specific use intended. It is NOT a course in how to make a saddle tree but will give insight into the variables and adjustments that are possible on the part of the tree maker.

 February 11-14, 2014
“Details of Saddlemaking”

This workshop will be held in the Museum’s Nona Jean Hulsey Rumsey Art Education Center. John Willemsma will concentrate on several common problem areas including fitting a saddle seat, different styles of cantles and cantle bindings, riggings, horns and covering both Wade-style forks and also one requiring a welt or seam.

This will involve intermediate to advanced instruction with many practical solutions. The program is styled for a class of 15 participants.

The presentation can accommodate an enrollment of at least 24 participants. Due to limited enrollment, these classes fill quickly so call early to hold a spot in the workshop. Advance reservations are required for both workshops. For further information and enrollment call (405) 478-2250, Ext. 277.


A Little More About the TCAA Education Program

Video: Nate Wald talks about the rawhide braiding workshop and how education is part of the mission of the TCAA.

The TCAA Workshops

Jean Luc Parisot Workshop

Above is a short film of European leather case making taught by Jean Luc Parisot of Saumur, France with Pedro Pedrini and Cary Schwarz. Filmed in the Spring of 2009 by Adam Jahiel and produced in partnership betwen the TCAA and the National Cowboy Museum, the film shows some of old world techniques for hand stitching that are getting lost to time. — at Saumur, France.

The program that has been in place for several years of providing $500 scholarships to those needing assistance to attend mentoring sessions or workshops has helped many aspiring craftspeople.

Having distributed over $70,000 through that program, the TCAA has decided that a more targeted approach and a more substantial investment in each recipient will better address the urgency of providing educational opportunities to a number of highly motivated craftspeople who have moved beyond group workshops and would benefit from intensive mentoring in areas tailored to their specific needs.

Founded in 1998,the TCAA launched its education program with an engraving workshop in 2001. During the past nine years that program has grown to include two annual workshops and a seminar hosted by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, individual mentoring and TCAA scholarships. The results are impressive:

  • 103 Craftsmen have received cash scholarships to help further training and education.
  • $59,700 is the amount paid to participants in this program to date.
  • 216 craftsmen have been personally mentored in various TCAA members shops and studios.
  • 220 craftspeople have attended TCAA workshops hosted by National Cowboy Museum.
  • 45 speakers participated in TCAA seminars to perform free lectures on various aspects of craftsmanship and cowboy culture.
  • 394 One of a kind pieces have been created by TCAA members for the annual exhibition and sale.
  • 657 is the number of years experience represented by TCAA members.
  • 19 members of the TCAA include thirteen elected and six founding members; an important milestone reached in 2007.

TCAA Member are available for mentoring individuals as well as conducting workshops and lectures. For details please contact