On June 25, 2020, the West lost one of its greatest voices. Don Hedgpeth passed away in a San Antonio hospital with Shug, Cody and Clint at his side.

Don was a renowned author, historian, humorist and entertainer, as well as a staunch supporter of the TCA since its inception in 1998. Most of the members formed lasting friendships with Don, who attended many TCA openings and helped to orchestrate our first sell-outs.

Others, more qualified, will write Don’s obituary and biography. I will simply remember him as a true friend and a great spokesman for the West and the Cowboy.

Chuck Stormes, June 26, 2020.

The saddlers gathered at Rick’s place in Star, Idaho last week. We spent two days talking saddles and leatherwork. A good bit of the time was spent critiquing one another’s work and discussing ideas for the future. Discussion circled around saddles, trees, ground seats, leather, tools, techniques, history, and a bunch of other related stuff. It was a great time!

Day 5- My Goal this week was to give Tanner and Jodi Knowledge, Experience and Process that would start to form a Base allowing them to take their Ideas and Creativity from their Heads to their Hands.

Through the week they each Built a Buckle(shape, size, edge of their own choosing) that put them through the Paces of Designing Complicated Fabrication Techniques:

-These steps were Designed to Understand that if you Learnt your Basics, Respect the Trade and Materials, Dedicate Yourself to Learning that overtime You can Accomplish what you Desire.

This was a Long 5 Days filled with Discussions, Theory, Challenges and Revelations(AWE-HAW Moments). Sounds Hard Perhaps but because of their Dedication it was also Fun!

Thank You to the TCAA Providing These Opportunities, Thank You to the Sponsors for Making it Possible and Thank You to Jodi and Tanner for having the Courage and Desire to want to Continue True Cowboy Craftsmanship.

Scott Hardy

Day 4- Worked Hands-on at Complicated Scroll and Flower Overlay Soldering Technics and Theory.

Along with Extensive Discussion about Pricing, Career Motives and Moving from Craft to Art with Dedication to a Chosen Discipline.

 

Day 3- We Journeyed to Chuck Storme’s Shop where Tanner and Jodi were inspired by Chuck over 50 years of Dedication to Craftsmanship, his Shop Organization and Purpose Plus Silver pieces he had On Hand from John Ennis and The Murry Brothers.

We returned to my Shop and they Proceeded on Their Projects all the Time Discussing the Purpose and Life Of a Craftsperson and Craftsmanship.

As They Said At The End Of The Day – “Life Changing”

Day 2- We worked on the Technical and Practical aspect(hands on) of Complicated Soldering Procedures.

– Designing and Executing Scroll and Flower Overlays.

– In Depth Discussion on the Ethics of Western Craftsmanship.

 

“Respect the Craft- Make Something Beautiful! ” —  Steve Jobs

Day 1- Tanner Crow and Jodi Brown arrived – we went over intended projects piece by piece and began. 

We talked about steps “process” along with a long talk on what their goals were in their chosen trades and how perhaps they can fulfill those goals.

PURCHASE HERE

In 1998, a group of the West’s leading cowboy artisans—­saddlemakers, silversmiths, rawhide braiders, and bit and spur makers—recognized a threefold crisis: a shortage of newcomers entering their trades, an aging master class of artists, and fewer opportunities for apprentices to find willing, qualified mentors.

Disciplines that had been part of the cowboy culture for generations were in danger of dying off, of being replaced by mass production. And, the prospects for aspiring makers to earn their livings producing quality work seemed to be fading fast.
In response, these individuals joined together to form the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association, a group dedicated to educating student craftsmen, demonstrating the levels of quality possible in their represented trades, and proving that makers producing fine work through traditional methods could be paid fairly for their efforts and rightfully be considered artists.

TCAA created an unprecedented lineup of education programs—scholarships and fellowships, workshops and mentoring opportunities—aimed at enabling younger makers to achieve success. The group’s annual exhibition of TCAA members’ work, though, would become its highest-profile educational effort, showcasing one-of-a-kind, handcrafted works exemplifying the finest work possible in these traditional cowboy arts.

Cowboy Renaissance tells this group’s story—its origins, its evolution, its impact on the contemporary West—and features hundreds of the works that have been included in TCAA’s annual show, an event that’s grown from an experiment fraught with risk, to one of the cowboy culture’s most anticipated, and most inspiring, offerings.

 

PURCHASE HERE