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.

2012catSince the TCAA catalog was a Gold Addy winner for Oklahoma, it was advanced to the regional competition of American Federation of Advertisers – Arts & Sciences Categories – 10th District (which include four states, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and NW Lousiana).

These were the two categories that the catalog was entered in:

Collateral – Brochure, Sales Kit:
Entrant: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, TCAA Catalog (Traditional Cowboy Arts Association), Silver ADDY® Award

Collateral – Cards, Invitations or Announcements:
Entrant: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, TCAA Catalog (Traditional Cowboy Arts Association), Bronze ADDY® Award

As a Silver Addy winner in the regional competition it can advance yet again to the National Competition.

Although the catalog is entered in a design competition – it is great recognition for the Museum (and the TCAA) as the entrant and award winner.

About the AAF-Tenth District ADDY Winner

The District ADDY Judging was completed on Saturday. Congratulations, you have won at the District level of competition. For a complete list of district winners by club click HERE. All Gold winners will be automatically forwarded to the national level of competition at no additional cost to you. If you have won a Silver ADDY you will be contacted by national via email asking if you wish to have your Silver advanced. You will be contacted by national very soon.

Only Gold and Silver winners are allowed to advance to national.

The District ADDY Show will be Friday, April 12 during the District Convention in Tulsa. It will be held from 7 – 10 pm at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame next to the Hyatt Regency Tulsa which is the convention hotel.

You can be part of the TCAA and its mission

“The artisans of the TCAA have elevated their respective crafts to previously unseen standards of excellence. In doing so, they’ve triggered a resurgence of interest in quality, handmade saddles, bits, spurs, rawhide and Western silver. As mentors, they’ve inspired the next generation of craftsmen, ensuring a future for these unique cowboy trades.”

– A.J. Mangum, Former editor Western Horseman, Current editorial director ‘The Frontier Project’, contributing editor ‘The Cowboy Way’, freelance writer.

2012catIn partnership with the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, we have made available for purchase our catalogs featuring the beautiful mastery of our craft. Hurry and get yours today before they sell out!

The TCAA programs are funded entirely by private contributions. If you would like to assist the TCAA in our mission by making a cash donation, you may do so in any amount. Here is the place to begin the process.


The active membership will be having a meeting March 15 &16 in Kerrville, Texas this year. A reminder for potential applicants for membership: Contact an active member of your choosing and furnish them with a biography, recent photos of your work, and a brief statement regarding the reasons why you would like to be a part of the TCAA family. This member will bring your information to the spring meeting for a preview. Your application will be tendered for review and a vote in the fall meeting.

Braidie Butters

And Our First Award Goes To…

Braidie-smallBraidie Butters began working in her Dad’s spur shop learning how to complete basic tasks in 2008. In June of 2009 she learned her first bright cut engraving in Folsom New Mexico from good friend Bill Lusk. From that point on Braidie was hooked on engraving. A few months later she took the basic bright cut engraving class offered by the TCAA in Oklahoma City where she was inspired to learn more about engraving and silversmithing.

Braidie now lives in Dalhart Texas where she runs B. Butters Silver creating custom designs and silverwork.

leland-1This is one of my braiding classes that was from March 4 – 9th. We started with the basics and discussed the importance of quality rawhide and cutting quality strings. Things we went over were, choosing the right weight string for the right project, moisture content and hide preparation. The students cut strings, helped with some hide preparation, braided cores, twisted cores, braided bodies and we did a little knot work to end the class. Special attention was paid to the selection of the proper weight of string for their bodies and  to the way they pulled and tightened while they braided bodies and cores.

Emerging Artists CompetitionEmerging Artist Competition.

Saddlemakers and silversmiths gathered in Mesa, Arizona to participate in the first annual Emerging Artist Competition. Work was evaluated for aesthetic value as well as function, with the results of the competition as follows: Matt Litz (Texas) winning the silversmith award, and Conley Walker (Idaho), taking home the saddlemaking prize.

The winners in each category were given $1000 cash, hotel accommodations and complimentary tickets to the weekend events at the Cowboy Crossings exhibit opening in Oklahoma City in October. The judges noted a high level of quality in the work, and critiques were well received by all the participants.

One of the participants was Douglas Krause of Red Bluff, California who remarked that the judges “…along with the other TCAA members in attendance-all carried themselves with amazing stature and proper wit. For myself, I never viewed this as a competition, but rather an excellent learning experience. It was all that and more. The conversations were thoughtful, educational, open and honest. My work received fair critique and the knowledge to continue on a path of positive progression.” Virtually all of the feedback from the other participants echoed these words.

Special thanks to Wilson Capron, Cary Schwarz, Rick Bean, Dave Alderson, Scott Hardy and Don Bellamy for helping make the first TCAA Emerging Artist Competition a success. Also, a big Western “Thank You” goes out to Joseph and Linda Sherwood and their staff f at the High Noon Show for supporting this effort and making it a reality. The members of the TCAA reserve a special thanks and congratulations to all the competitors who came with great work and great attitudes. The passion and thirst for knowledge these people displayed shows that there is a bright future for Western Craftsmanship!

With the resounding success of this weekend in Mesa, the TCAA looks forward to next year when the categories will be rawhide braiding, and bits and spurs.

Read more about the Emerging Artist Competition

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is pleased to announce the acquisition of an important saddle made in 2009 by Chuck Stormes with saddle silver by John Ennis. Stormes, of Millarville, Canada, is a founding member of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association and is celebrating his 50th year as a saddlemaker – a remarkable achievement. The Collections Committee of the Museum’s Board of Directors approved this purchase with the express purpose of exhibiting the saddle in the reinstallation of the Museum’s fine art gallery in April of 2013. This Mother Hubbard saddle, with its flowing floral stamping and exquisitely engraved silver conchas, will be presented as functional art shown side-by-side with the works of Howard Terpning, Alan Houser and other celebrated contemporary Western artists. This acquisition is also indicative of the desire by the Board of Directors to actively pursue such important expressions of contemporary Western functional art.

Congratulations to TCAA Member Dave Alderson for being selected for the Govenor’s Award in Idaho. Recognized for Excellence in Folk and Traditional Arts.