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.

313 (2)The 2nd Annual TCAA Emerging Artist Competition was held on January 25th and 26th at High Noon Western Americana Auction and Show in Mesa, AZ.

All the entrants came with their best pieces which made for tuff work for the judges.
We the TCAA would like to Thank all the entrants for their efforts and participation.

Also a big Congratulations to the winners:

Bit and Spurmaking- Brian Hochstrat
Rawhide Braider- Bret Haskett

A special thank you to Joseph and Linda Sherwood, along with the High Noon staff for their support and hard work. Also to our judges for going above and beyond.

Bit and Spur Judges- Wilson Capron, Russell Yates and Bill Heisman.
Rawhide Braiding Judges- Leland Hensley, Nate Wald, and Mehl Lawson.

The TCAA would also like to thank everyone who came by the TCAA booth. It was great to see you all, please come see us in October in Oklahoma City!

We invite everyone to join us at High Noon Western Americana Antique Show and Auction at Mesa Convention Center, Mesa AZ. on Jan.25th and 26th, 2014. Please drop in and see the pieces and visit with the artists.


Good Luck to all the participants of the 2nd Annual TCAA Emerging Artist Competition –


Jim Zollinger
Scott Gore
Graeme Quisenberry
Alan Bell
Whit Olson
Jack Armstrong

Bret Haskett
Donnie Chulufas

Bit and Spur Makers:

Doug Cook
Michael Titor
Brian Hochstrat
Shawn Bradstreet
Richard Brooks
Joshua Ownbey
Mathew Turner
Tommy Mock
Kim Parkey
Dominic Valine
Cory Trammel

KEY-MAGLook for us in OKC! Featured this month in KEY Magazine (placed in 6000 hotel rooms) the art of the CAA and TCAA during the month of November, the same month OKC hosts the American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show and the National Reining Horse Association Futurity.

Head over to the Cowboy museum and see the exhibit!

Sideshot of THE SADDLEP8080171

The saddle is a old california style loop seat .The silver is repoussed,chased ,engraved and filigreed to match Pedros carving. Dave has over 500 hrs in the silver and Pedro worked on the saddle for over 300 hrs.


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2 amazing pieces from two of the TCAA’s founding members. Hopefully you can make it down for the show to see theses works of art live and up-close! Perhaps take them home? We’ll see you there!

By Ernie Marsh for the 2013 Cowboy Crossings Show
bit 278 tca 13-b

This piece is adapted from the old snake pattern of the late 1800’s, a loose jawed Barqueno mouthpiece makes it a very versatile piece for almost any broke parade or movie horse  with 18 kt gold inlays, fine silver inlays and large sterling conchos w/ 14 kt accents. I  enjoy working with some of these old classic patterns with a focus on function and with the artistic freedom to express my own style techniques.

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By Scott Hardy for the 2013 Cowboy Crossings Show


Fully filigreed, Sterling Silver baby rattle with overlaid TCA logo and hand sculpted figure. Lariat rapped around hand piece.

Hermann-Oak-LogoThe TCAA is proud to welcome Hermann Oak Leather as a sponsor and supporter of its ongoing programs. Hermann Oak Leather has been tanning quality leathers in St. Louis, Missouri for the world’s leading saddlemakers since 1881 and continues to produce the leather that makes the TCAA level of craftsmanship possible. Read more

clinic 2013

Cary Schwarz conducted a clinic at his shop near Salmon, Idaho June 10-14. Three attendees watched and listened as Cary built most of a halfbreed saddle. The important principles of saddlemaking were discussed at length: trees, riggings, ground seats, fork cover, seat, skirts, cantle binding, as well as business issues and practice.


bill-owenBill Owen passed away suddenly on June 15th at the Diamond A Ranch near Seligman, Arizona.

The award-winning painter and sculptor’s international reputation was based on his first-hand knowledge and accurate portrayal of the contemporary Arizona ranch cowboy and his horses, cattle and country.

A member of the Cowboy Artists of America since 1973, Owen served three terms as the prestigious group’s president.

Bill Owen will also be remembered for founding the Arizona Cowpunchers’ Scholarship Fund, which helped many young people
from Arizona ranch families attend college or university.

The TCAA members will treasure Bill’s friendship and his dedication to painting the real American West.

wilson-1I had a workshop April 23-26, 2013 that covered the fundamentals for fabricating a pair of spurs.  The five participants each were able to complete a pair of spurs.  Introductions were made for the use and care of files, the use of a belt sander and different methods to using it, operation of a tig welder, and a buffing machine. A little machine work was also covered with a band saw and a milling machine.  Steel fabrication was focused on so each participant could gain the skills to creating a quality spur.