This special exhibit features exquisite, intricately carved saddles, beautiful ornate spurs, bits with decorative silver and gold inlay, rawhide braid quirts, braided reins, and more, by 14 members of the prestigious TCAA. Included in The Brinton’s show are works by Rick C. Bean (Star, ID), TCAA President Wilson Capron (Christoval, TX), Beau Compton (Tombstone, AZ), Mark Drain (Shelton, WA), Scott Hardy (Longview, Alberta, Canada), Leland Hensley (Meridian, TX), Pablo Lozano (Tandil, Argentina), Ernie Marsh (Lovell, WY), Pedro Pedrini (Adams, OR), Cary Schwarz (Salmon, ID), Chuck Stormes (Millarville, Alberta, Canada), Nate Wald (Lodge Grass, MT), Troy West (Azle, TX) and John Willemsma (Westcliffe, CO)
Founded by a small group of craftsmen in 1998, the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the standard of time-honored craftsmanship in the cowboy arts.
“Time-honored workmanship is reflected in every detail in every piece in this exhibit, form and function could not be more beautifully expressed in art. As you walk through Spring Roundup with the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association, enjoy the ride! ”
Curator of Exhibitions
“There is a strong culture and tradition that formed us and we are proud of it… The Brinton Museum is a perfect place to tell our story and to talk about the story of the West. ”
Rick C. Bean
As a young man, Rick Bean had a love of drawing. His neighbors, the Penny family, were saddlemakers, and he worked for them every day after school and learned the fundamentals of saddlemaking. Bean built his first saddle at age 15, and two years later, in 1978, founded R. C. Bean Saddlery. With a passion for drawing, Bean approaches saddlery as an art form, commenting that “designing, sculpting, and carving of a saddle proves to be very challenging, but very rewarding.”
Wilson W. Capron
Wilson Capron grew up on ranches in West Texas and has studied horsemanship and roping since his youth. In 1996, Wilson began working for a friend’s father, legendary bit and spur maker Greg Darnall. Wilson lived with the Darnall family while attending Texas A&M University-Commerce, where he earned an Ag-Business degree. At first working for Greg was a way to earn money for rodeo fees, but Greg’s encouragement for Wilson to learn engraving sparked a passion for craftsmanship that continues today. As Wilson developed his engraving talent, he found guidance in artistic principles from his farther, cowboy painter Mike Capron. In 1999, Wilson launched his own business.
Beau Compton was born and raised in a rodeo and ranching family, and has always had a deep appreciation for Western heritage and a love of rodeo, team roping professionally for many years. Beau started silverwork in approximately 1997. His father-in-law introduced him to Vic Vasquez, who was a saddle maker, silversmith, and bit and spur maker who had worked for Visalia, and taught many other makers.
“In 2006, I found myself in a job away from my wife and infant son. With the support of my family, and the faith that it was a God-directed decision, I soon quit that job, and started to pursue silverwork as a full-time business. I have since been blessed to be able to support my family with my business.”
Mark Drain is a founding member of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association and emeritus member currently. A professional silversmith for over 45 years, Mark is semi-retired and lives with his wife Kathy in Washington State. He produces a few specially commissioned pieces of work each year along with an original piece for the annual TCAA show.
Scott Hardy’s commitment to working with silver is as deep as his roots in Western Canada. As a fifth generation stockman, he understands the dedication required to excel. He has been a full-time silversmith and engraver since 1981. Though largely self-taught, Hardy acknowledges the work of modern masters Al Pecetti and Mark Drain, and looks back as well to such turn-of-the-century craftsmen as the artisans at Tiffany Company.
Leland Hensley picked up rawhide braiding while attending Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, in the early 1980s. After graduating he managed a small Texas ranch and continued to hone his skills at braiding rawhide. Thirty-five years of braiding rawhide, 15 years as curator for the Trappings of Texas, and several trips to Argentina to learn and compare techniques have inspired Hensley’s unique braiding style. His passion for art, Western culture, and the horse have driven him to make each braided piece a higher skill level, and be recognized from across the room as a piece uniquely his own.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pablo Lozano’s family tradition is tied to Argentina’s cattle heritage. At age 15 he began studying rawhide braiding with his mentor, the late Don Luis Alberto Flores. A career rawhide braider, Lozano believes in the concept of apprenticeship as a means to educate and preserve the art of traditional rawhide braiding. He has been awarded Best of Show several times at the Sociedad Rural Argentina and became a member of their panel of judges. Lorenzo frequently participates in braiding seminars and workshops in the United States, and was awarded the 2015 Braider of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists.
Ernie has been a professional bit maker and spur maker for 26 years. With hard working experience including ranching and rodeo, he pursued his passion of building bridle bits and spurs with the same serious attitude and desire to learn the skills involved. He considers himself fortunate to have had opportunities to gain insight from horsemen, engravers and noted masters of the trade. With his wife Teresa, Marsh currently resides near Lovell (WY). As a founding member of the TCAA, Marsh has influenced the work of many contemporary bit and spur makers. Ernie is a 2016 USA Katie Weitz Fellow.
Jean-Pierre “Pedro” Pedrini was born in France in 1952. He found an interest in Western riding and leather craft as a youth, which inspired several trips to the United States to learn saddlemaking skills; in 1990, and became a United States citizen in 1992 and a TCAA member in 2007. Named 2008 Saddlemaker of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists. Pedrini and his son, Tony, reside in Adams, Oregon.
Cary Schwarz has enjoyed the journey of artistry and craftsmanship in leather since 1971. Whether exploring a new floral design or perfecting his hand sewing, he has found ways to stay engaged in the process of learning and improving. The work he brings to The Brinton Museum exhibition is an offering that shows his love of this process and of the Western lifestyle that he cherishes. Schwarz sees his vocation as one where he is helping others celebrate the West, whether from the back of a horse or on display in the home or office.
In 1962, Chuck Stormes apprenticed with the last of Calgary’s pioneer saddleries. His storied more than fifty year career reflects a dep commitment to fine craftsmanship and a dedication to excellence. Stormes is gratified to be a part of the current renaissance in Western craftsmanship and is encouraged by the level of work being created by today’s designer craftsmen and women. Stormes lives in the foothills southwest of Calgary with his wife, Heather, whom he describes as his most helpful critic.
Nate and T J Wald live and ranch on the Crow Indian Reservation near Lodge Grass, Montana. “We have a good set of Red Angus cows and raise some real nice horses.” Wald said, “Braiding rawhide is an everyday part of this lifestyle as well.” A longtime TCAA member, he served as TCAA President for two years.
Troy West wanted to become a professional rodeo cowboy, but, in 1977, when his brother decided to attend school to learn saddle-building, West went too. Along with making beautiful saddles, his lifelong goal includes creating a saddletree that is comfortable to the horse and the rider. He has won Best of Show at the Boot and Saddlemaker Roundup five times, and, in 2014, he received the Will Rogers Award for Saddlemaker of the Year. West said becoming a TCAA member is one of the major highlights of his career – he considers it an honor and a privilege to work with some of the best craftsmen in the world.
Building quality saddles has been John Willemsma’s goal for 40 years. From the tests of the working cowboy to the eye of the finest collectors, he is driven by excellence. Since becoming a TCAA member it has been gratifying to place his feet in both the worlds of working gear and functional art. Willemsma and his wife, Debbie, are enjoying life in Westcliffe, Colorado, nestled in the Rocky Mountains. He is now passing on his knowledge of saddlemaking to his son, Logan, and strives to honor all those who have guided him and shared their knowledge of the craft he holds dear.