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JW-2014-SaddleWorkshop-07Thirteen years ago I had the great opportunity to attend a Traditional Cowboy Arts Asociation workshop at the NATIONAL COWBOY MUSEUM in Oklahoma City .. Fast forward to this past February and to the “Details of Saddle making ” workshop that I had the honor present as a member of The TCAA.

Eleven students from California to Wisconsin spent four days observing how to work on areas that give many saddlemakers issues , such as the proper way to cover a metal horn, fitting a swell cover on a saddle requiring a seam or welt and a Wade (slick fork),the proper steps to achieve a nice cantle shape (fitting your cantle back and cantle filler) and according to all in attendance.

Making clean cuts and fitting the “seat ears” at the base of the cantle binding for both a Cheyenne roll and a straight Bead style cantle.In the four day class two different styles of saddles were worked on .. A Wade and a Will James .. Giving everyone a wide range of ideas to improve upon their work.

The focus on the TRADITIONAL COWBOY ARTS ASSOC. fall workshop will be ..Saddle tree fit with TCAA member Chuck Stormes. Many thanks to all who attended and worked so hard to make the February work shop a success .

– John Willemsma TCAA

JW-2014-SaddleWorkshop-01 JW-2014-SaddleWorkshop-02 JW-2014-SaddleWorkshop-03 JW-2014-SaddleWorkshop-04 JW-2014-SaddleWorkshop-05 JW-2014-SaddleWorkshop-06Those attending the workshop

Cindy Abrams…Midway, TX
Craig Brown ..Stillwell, OK
Jim Kiss Modesto, CA
Jan Mark, Elbert, CO
Mike Monroe, Fletcher, OK
Ed Rodgers, Arena, WI
Jock Pollard, Cement, OK
Ken Raye, Zachary ,LA
Evan Rolland, Coalgate, OK
Jamie Sayre, Ventura, CA
T.A. Williams, Benton, KS

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!

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.

national-cowboyBeing a member of the TCAA and being part of a great show this year at The National Cowboy Museum is such an honor. This December I had the privilege of spending two Sunday afternoons at the museum and talking with visitors as they viewed the TCAA show. It’s always amazing to me to see the change in people’s perspective of how they look at each piece of work, after understanding the amount of time involved in building a piece for the TCAA Show. I spoke with several visitors who had some basic knowledge of horses and the West, who were fascinated by the pieces. The process of how one does silver high relief engraving on steel was especially fascinating. After explaining the basics of removing the background to enhance the scroll work, each would go around the room again and re-examine each piece with new found interest. This was true of every medium in the show. Visitors were amazed at how the process evolves from the initial thought, to the layout of a design, and then to the finished product. They all came away with a new appreciation for who we are as both artist and craftsman. The visitors varied from a local woman who had been to Morocco and Spain and could see the influence of their cultures in the designs and workmanship, to a couple from China with a fascination for cowboys and the West, marveling at the artistry as they stopped to look at each piece in the show. It was an honor to be in the gallery among the great works of each member of the TCAA, and to bring a new appreciation of our goals as an organization to those that came to the exhibition.