Artisans of the West – Scott Hardy

Scott Hardy, of Longview, Alberta is one of Canada’s most renowned silversmiths and founding member of the Traditional Cowboys Arts Association.

Our March 2013 issue featured the Ultimate Artisans of the West. Over the next few months, we’ll profile some of the talented artisans we met, and whose work we fell in love with. To see the full feature, order the back issue 

Hardy’s designs push the limits of his craft, but he stays true to the tradition of the art of silversmithing.

Some of the most fateful things happen in the most unlikely ways. For Traditional Cowboys Arts Association (TCAA) silversmith Scott Hardy, it all started with an advertisement in the paper.

“I had cowboyed in the mountains, shoed horses for years and welded, all trying to find a way to make a living so Leslie (Scott’s wife) and I could buy some land to raise cattle and horses. I came across an ad for a Continuing Education course at Mount Royal University in Calgary for beginning silversmithing. After completing the night course, I started creating pieces for family and friends in my basement and in 1981, I opened my silver shop.”

Now, over 30 years later, the rest is, indeed, history. Although he doesn’t travel to trade shows to exhibit and sell his work, he does attend the Traditional Cowboys Arts Association Exhibition and Sale held at the National Cowboy & Western Museum in Oklahoma City every October. Hardy’s work is displayed in a handful of galleries, and as with all artists that grow with the times, he gets a fair amount of traffic through his website.

Hardy’s pieces are all works of art, with a lead time of 2-3 months for each order.

“I am a founding member of the TCAA. Their mission statement is simple – the TCAA is dedicated to preserving and promoting the skills of saddle making, bit and spur making, silversmithing and rawhide braiding and the role of these traditional crafts in representing the cowboy culture of the North American West. Over the years, we have taught over 300 craftspeople in workshops, personally mentored over 235 craftspeople, have given out over $70,000 in scholarships and now host an Emerging Artist Competition and a fellowship. But the most important learning tool we have is our annual Exhibition and Sale at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum every October. For this event, our members are required to bring their best works, creating pieces that push their artistic and technical abilities further than ever before.

This is important for many reasons; it inspires artists and craftspeople to move ahead with their own work and show the public buyers and collectors what can be achieved. It also makes the TCAA members strive each year to expand their abilities, which flows through to their everyday work. For me personally it has opened a world of knowledge. Western silversmithing is my passion, pleasure and profession.”

A founding member of the TCAA, Hardy’s work goes above and beyond what would be expected of a bit and spur maker.

After such a lengthy career in the industry, Hardy’s biggest challenge now is time. Although he is happy with his work, he humbly adds that he still feels he has a lot to learn and accomplish. Regardless, he feels a passion for what he does.

“Silver work always fascinated me. Growing up, there were always a lot of buckles and horse gear around, but what really amazed me was a silver tea service set my great Grandma had brought from England. It was hard to believe a person had created those pieces. It is important to carry on this art because it is the culture of the West; the equipment we use, the way we embellish them, the buckles we wear were all created in the North American West. They came from cultures all over the world, brought here and morphed into what worked best for us. The North American West, the way we work stock, the areas we cover in that work is truly unique in the world. We should be proud of that!”

See more of Scott Hardy’s work at www.scotthardy.com.

~ story by Dainya Sapergia

Rodeo Poster Unveiled

If you're Ponoka-bound for the 77th edition of the Ponoka Stampede next week, you might want to take a bit of collectible memorabilia home with you.

Kicking off a series of original paintings depicting a significant person or event in Ponoka's rich rodeo history, the 77th year poster features World Class Saddle Bronc Rider Rod Hay. Among too many accolades to mention, (he captured the Ponoka Stampede Saddle Bronc Riding Championship title three times) his natural riding ability and classy style is considered to be a defining career achievement by rodeo cowboys and fans alike. Rod Hay's effortless-looking style is skillfully portrayed in watercolor by artist and rodeo entertainer Ash Cooper.

These two cowboys have shared the rodeo arena spotlight for many years and Ash Coopers' first hand knowledge culminated into a true to life painting of the famous rodeo athlete. Saddle bronc riding is often described as a true art form and through his paint brush Ash Cooper has captured the action. This year there are 77 limited edition high-quality artist prints available for purchase, each individually signed by Ash Cooper and Rod Hay. These highly collectable poster sized prints give rodeo fans a once in a lifetime opportunity to seize a single moment where rodeo, art and history intertwine. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these prints are donated to the Tom Butterfield Creating Cowboys Scholarship Fund.

The original painting will be made available for viewing during Stampede week at the Canadian Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame and the Ponoka Stampede Western Art and Gift Show and will be sold with the artist present at the 3rd Annual Ponoka Stampede Live Art Auction set for June 30th at 4 pm in the Stagecoach Saloon.


Artisans of the West – Shawna Whiteside

Shawna Whiteside, silversmith and owner of the Sweet Iron Silver Co.

Our March 2013 issue featured the Ultimate Artisans of the West. Over the next few months, we’ll profile some of the talented artisans we met, and whose work we fell in love with. To see the full feature, order the back issue 

Whiteside’s Bronc Pendent, represents the symbolism of the West.

For silversmith Shawna Whiteside, working from her studio near Didsbury, Alberta, creating the feel of the West involves color, creativity and her passion for life. In her work, she combines intricate designs and a splash of color to create a unique western flavor. Whiteside feels she has a passion to create innovative and expressive jewelry, which offers whimsical detail with a modern twist. Her work specializes in the bright cut style western engraving and she also is fond of making custom work, incorporating logos, brands or initials.

“I have a passion for anything that will make a piece a one-of-a-kind or an heirloom. I love adding color, which is why I’m always putting pendants on colorful turquoise, amethyst, or other stones. I also try to mix copper, gold, silver and other metals together to make things pop.”

Whiteside relates she has always had a passion for jewelry, but it wasn’t until she turned 30 that she decided to pursue her passion.

A beautifully crafted silver ring, inspired by western design.

“My mother started doing bronzes around that time. She is an amazing artist and she has always taught me to follow my dreams.”

Inspiration for her jewelry comes from different ideas that might have not been done in the western style. Whiteside says she keeps a notebook in her purse and does quick sketches whenever a new idea comes to life. “I’m always looking in magazines and trying to figure out new ways to wear and engrave, keeping the traditional methods, but putting a colorful or modern twist on them.”

Recently she has gone to Washington to meet and train with Mark Drain, founder of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association. “He is a hero of mine and a brilliant silversmith. He continues to inspire me to try different things and make every piece the best one I can possibly make it.”

For seven years, Whiteside has been juried into the Calgary Stampede Western Showcase. “I was one of the first artisans they let into the Western Showcase.”

She said the opportunity to show at the Stampede is like winning an Academy Award. “I try every year to incorporate something new or different in my work. It really makes me try to evolve and improve.”

Custom brand bracelet with 10 karat gold scroll.

Visit the Sweet Iron Silver Co. to see more of Shawna’s work.

~ story by Deanna Buschert

Artisans of the West – Shelagh Blatz

Shelagh Blatz, silversmith and owner of Designs By Shelagh.

Our March 2013 issue featured the Ultimate Artisans of the West. Over the next few months, we'll profile some of the talented artisans we met and whose work we fell in love. To see the full feature, order the back issue

Stamped Sterling Silver surrounds this 1930's Buffalo nickel, the iconic symbol of the West, surrounded by turquoise stones. Complimented by matching beads.

Shelagh Blatz “fell” into silversmithing. After convincing some friends to take an Introduction to Silversmithing class with her in Okotoks, Alberta, Blatz fell in love with the craft. She continued to take classes from her mentor, Shirley Paradis, and also at the Alberta College of Art & Design.

In 2002, Blatz started making pieces that she couldn’t find anywhere in Canada and began taking orders from people who were interested in her unique pieces. Working out of her home studio on her family’s ranch southwest of Calgary, Blatz draws motivation for her jewelry from her western lifestyle – she strives to create unique pieces that reflect her life.

A beautiful grouping in striking Spiny Oyster, a shell that has been used for adornment since ancient times and worn by Aztecs, Anasazi, Mogolion and Hohokam.

“I draw a lot of inspiration directly from the stone; the color and shape usually indicate where I start with the design,” says Blatz. “I start with a sketch book and a shape and fit a stone into the design or sometimes I begin with a stone and draw the design around it.”

Blatz finishes all of her designs off with her trademark Buffalo nickel clasp. “It’s great to be able to pick out one of my creations from afar.”

A striking turquoise stone surrounded by small beads of silver and on a silver beaded chain.

Suspended on a silver chain, and adorned with a light turquoise stone, this feather is light and easy to wear.

Silver feathers adorned with precious stone, and complimentary earrings.

Visit Designs By Shelagh to see more of Blatz's work.

~ by Deanna Beckley

 

Happy Trails From The BC Cowboy Festival

BY DEANNA BUSCHERT

BC Cowboy Festival

The 2013 BC Cowboy Festival buckle, crafted by silversmith Richard Tenisch, from Merritt, BC. Photos by Deanna Buschert

For many talented cowboy entertainers, artisans and Western lifestyle addicts, the Annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival is a March tradition. This year marked the 17th edition of the Kamloops, BC, festival, which hosted an extensive list of the hottest performers of today’s country western entertainment. The star studded stage line-up included Canada’s Tim Hus and Gary Fjellgaard, American’s Dave Stamey and the half-cracked humour of Australian Champion Bush Poet, Carol Heuchan.

Kamloops is historically considered to be ranching country. Throughout the second weekend in March, the BC Cowboy Festival’s objective is to honour the legacy of the working cowboy and promote the unique heritage, which follows this way of life.

Shirley Field Allen Christie  Mike Dygert

Mike Dygert of the Gordy West Band, Shirley Field and Allen Christie, took the stage during the Friday evening performance.

The music, poetry and artisans which decend upon Kamloops during the March cowboy gala, are second to none.

“It’s not what you expect sometimes- it is genuine and real,” explained festival co-founder and entertainer Hugh McLennan.

According to McLennan, the Kamloops Cowboy Festival is considered by everyone in the genre, the place to be.

The 2013 BC Cowboy Heritage Society’s Hall of Fame Artistic Achievement, was awarded to the late Cowboy Poet Mike Puhallo- co-founder of the BC Cowboy Festival.

This year’s BC Cowboy Heritage Hall of Fame honourees included Artistic Achievement winner, (the late) Mike Puhallo, Century Ranch recipient the Pooley Ranch, Working Cowboy award winner Steve Archacan (Hyde) and the annual Family inductee went to the Pozzobon (Sammy) outfit.

BCCHS Pooley Ranch

The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, honouring the Pooley Ranch family with the BCCHS Century Ranch award.

The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lietenant Governor of BC, was on hand to congratulate the 2013 BCCHS Hall of Fame honourees. Guichon knows the cowboy life first hand. The Governor owns and operates the Gerard Guichon Ranch, a large cattle operation in the Nicola Valley, BC.

The Joe Marten Memorial Award winner, Don Lowen of Cowboy Classic Equipment

The Joe Marten Memorial Award winner, saddle maker Don Lowen of Cowboy Classic Equipment and his family.

This year’s Joe Marten Award winner was Merritt BC’s Don Lowen. Lowen is a talented craftsman, who once worked on the famous Douglas Lake Ranch and for several decades has been one of BC’s most respected saddle makers.

“I remember having this desire to build saddles,” said Lowen. “Then I gave it all that I had.”

The Joe Marten Award is honoured to those who have worked the ranges and continue to preserve the Western heritage in BC.

Country 103's Louis McIvor congratulating Rising Star winner Rae-Lee Faser of Barriere, BC.

Country 103’s Louis McIvor congratulating Rising Star winner Rae-Lee Faser of Barriere, BC.

Finishing off the weekend’s festivities, was the crowning of this year’s Rising Stars. In the poetry division, BC’s Rae-Lee Fraser of Barriere, BC took home first place and the $1000 grand prize. The Rising Star competition is a platform for emerging artists to showcase their work and gain exposure to the Western performance scene.

For more information on the 2013 Kamloops Cowboy Festival and its extensive list of entertainers and award recipients, go to www.bcchs.com.

A Cowboy Love-In

BY DAINYA SAPERGIA

Dave Stamey flanked by two of Shannon Lawlor’s newest works, Friday night.

Foretelling of a vicious southern Alberta storm couldn’t even keep hardcore western music fans away from the historic East Longview Hall last Friday and Saturday night.

It was a beautifully planned event by Delilah Miller, showcasing the likes of Californian western singer Dave Stamey, Turner Valley, Alberta cowgirl poet Doris Daley and Nanton, Alberta famed equine artist Shannon Lawlor. Held within the walls of the East Longview Hall, we knew we were in for a special event.

Dave Stamey

A down to earth gentleman, Stamey took time to sign cd’s and fraternize with the locals.

In a sea of expertly shaped hats and well-worn boots, the show couldn’t have pulled off western authenticity better. Doris Daley kicked off the

show reciting a small collection of some of her melodic tales, covering everything form the great love story of Flores Ladue and Guy Weadick to the conundrums of being a not-so-punchy cowgirl.

But we were all thrilled when the great Dave Stamey strolled up the aisle to take the stage. His very first time performing north of the 49th, Stamey’s performance kept the audience enthralled and giggling, with the perfect amount of both. His words flow like a hot knife through butter and, maybe most importantly, are truly authentic, ringing true to every fan there. It would be hard to pick a favourite of the night, but his Buckskin Horse song had a comical introduction, with a poignant message…

East Longview Hall

The historic and revered East Longview Hall.

“…and she always wanted a buckskin horse and though life, can push a dream aside within the ranges of the heart there are miles and miles to ride if you ask, she’ll say it’s nothing, just a fantasy of course but like a secret hidden just behind her eyes there’s a buckskin horse”

But with all of the artistry flowing Saturday night, we were allowed a special treat when Ian Tyson meandered up the aisle to join Stamey in an impromptu rendition of the great ‘Bob Fudge’, flanked by two of Lawlor’s newest works. Two legends of western music before us, we all just sat and listened.

Shannon Lawlor Doris Daley

Shannon Lawlor and Doris Daley, standing in front of Lawlor’s painting Casey.

If Stamey ever decides to venture up our way again, make sure you get yourself a ticket and be in that room… and the trip out to the East Longview Hall isn’t that bad, either.

Spectacular Western Weddings Part III

Published in the January/ February 2012 edition of Western Horse Review.

BY DAINYA SAPERGIA & DEANNA BECKLEY

A western wedding exhibits ample opportunities for stunning and expressive photography. With blossoming western culture molding beauty and elegance with tradition, the choices for modern day brides and grooms are endless. Here’s one of three weddings we featured in the Jan/Feb, 2012 issue of Western Horse Review.

Brook McGovern & Clint Buhler

western weddings cowboy cowgirl wedding

Being avid horsepeople and team ropers, it was important that their horses be included in Brook and Clint’s day. Photo by Krista Kay Photography.

Venue: A photographer’s dream, Manning Park provided the ultimate in stunning backdrops, for western wedding photographer, Krista Kay. The couple chose dramatic the Park as the setting for their vows. The ceremony was held at Lightning Lake, and the dinner was hosted in the Cascade Room of the Pinewoods Lodge, also located in Manning Park. For dancing and festivities, the wedding migrated to the Bears Den Pub where they danced the rest of the night away.

Colour Scheme: Simple and elegant, with chocolate brown and black.

Jewelry: A simply stated Victorian-esque necklace with a tear drop design adorned Brook’s neck. For a very personal touch, Clint had Brook’s platinum engagement and wedding rings designed especially for her, and Brook chose a strong carbine tungsten band for Clint, inscribed with the promise “Will Love You Forever.”

Men’s Attire: Clint and the groomsmen wore black western influenced blazers, crisp white collared shirts, dark wash jeans, black hats and brown boots.

Ladies’ Attire: The bridesmaids pulled in the chocolate brown element with their cotton halter dresses with brown cowboy boots. The two flower girls looked pristine in white ‘princess’ dresses accented with a wide brown sash and cowboy boots.

western weddings cowboy romance

A bit of magic from Brook and Clint’s engagement photo session. Photo by Krista Kay Photography.

Wedding Dress: Keeping her outdoor plans in mind, Brook went with a hardy taffeta material that would easily shed dirt and grasses which could cling and snag traditional materials. It was a princess ball gown, with a modest train and a beautiful back. Knowing that the ceremony would involve horses, she made sure it had plenty of body and flowed nicely when she was riding.

Flowers: Brook chose Abby Florist of Abbotsford, British Columbia to create her unique arrangements. Wanting something completely different, she went with fresh white roses, and accented with white gerbera daisies, dried grasses and wheat.

Centerpieces: The tables were adorned with a clear glass votive holder with a rose set in pebbles underwater and a tea light floating in the center. Spread throughout the center of the table were dried leaves to tie in the strong outdoor presence laced through the day.

Favours: Tying in Clint’s profession as a farrier along with a shot of whimsy, Brook chose a pony shoe with fine wire for a hanger, making a unique and useable momento for guests to remember the day. Cake. Personal and simple, the cake was a small nineinch round carrot cake (Clint’s favourite), decorated with a pretty paisley pattern.

Something Borrowed: Brook filled the old adage “something blue” with a blue garter. Also hidden under her beautiful gown was “something borrowed” – her mother’s garter.

Last year we featured three western weddings for readers to derive inspiration from for their upcoming nuptials. This year is no different! You are going to want to pick up the Jan/Feb issue of Western Horse Review, or purchase the current issue online

Southwest Style

I like to think we have plenty of cowboy and country style back home, but when we’re here in Arizona I really look forward to a day or two of southwest shopping. One of our favorite places is only a few minutes away in the quaint western town of Cave Creek, where, over the past three years, I’ve come to be drawn to a few favorite places. Such as Valerie’s Furniture where an eclectic selection of cowboy culture to western chic can be found.

You’ll find a strong influence of a southern style essential – the cross – in this store.

Whether in jewellery or ornaments, crosses and turquoise just work together, don’t they?

Mexicana Rose is one of the newest shops on Cave Creek Road, and with weekly containers arriving from their factory location in Mexico, we’re now able to appreciate and see some of the best of Mexico style in this store.

Artwork, pottery, lamps and furniture, such as this reclaimed wood sideboard I fell in love with on our last trip, are staples of this store,which now sprawls over two buildings.

As, are accessories with Mexican detail. . . .

. . . and iron work and tapestries.

Mexican culture often expresses it’s artistry in religious elements. Among my latest obsession – the folk-art like retablos. These are small oil paintings or sculptures on tin, wood, or copper – traditionally displayed on home alters to express devotion to (often) Catholic saints. Nowadays, they are considered collectable pieces of art. I found this one at one of our favorite consignment store stops in Cave Creek – the Lazy Lizard. A wonderful store, filled with cowboy culture, Mexican and western style pieces and charming purveyors. Not to mention – great deals!

A few other favorites – pretty ceramic bird found at Valeries.

This blue chair, modern sleekness with western undertones in the stitching and leather, found at the recently expanded True West Design, now occupying a gorgeous building on Cave Creek Road.

And conveniently located across the street from the Dairy Queen, Wee would add. When she’s not devouring strawberry-marshmallow sundaes and a large order of fries, I can sometimes cajole her into modelling for me (mostly out of boredom, on her part).

This rather interesting armchair that Wee is settin’ upon would make most of my female friends recoil in horror, but I can think of a guy or two who just might treasure it. I would suggest it is very likely one of a kind and for a limited time, or perhaps even a very long time (smile), you can find it at the Red Truck Trading Company.

While still incorporating two man-cave essentials – hide and horn – I sense this bench might enjoy better odds of getting the nod from the opposite gender.

And what would a man-cave be without a guitar or two in the shadows?

We found these beautiful Spanish-style bottles at Valerie’s.

Vintage cowgirl graphics and motifs are resplendent in many items, such as this pillow. . .

. . . or, this Andy-Warhol inspired lampshade, paired with an industrial-type base.

Cowgirl humor, particularly when it pokes a bit of fun at the opposite gender, appears to be universally in style.

What about this western-inspired trash can, found at Big Bronco, a western store popular with tourists.

Or, this Navajo-patterned table runner and pot.

And, finally, I loved these bowls which embody the classic southwestern colors of turquoise, red and earthy browns.

So, I’m curious. What piece pictured in this post tweaked your fancy most? Let me know in the comment section below. Later this week, I’m pulling out two names from all of the comments, and sending each of them a Horse Savvy Annual Planner. These planners are one of the most useful equine record books you’ll ever handle, so be sure to have a chance to win one with your comment!

Spectacular Western Weddings Part I

Published in the January/ February 2012,  edition of the Western Horse Review.

BY DAIYNA SAPERGIA & DEANNA BECKLEY

Say the phrase “western wedding”, and many of us get mental images of lace-up Victorian boots and satin fringes. But there is a movement within the engaged couples of the contemporary western world to create a day that bears witness to that which brought them together – the horses that are so important in their everyday lives, the traditions of their western backgrounds and the great, wide open West. We feature three couples who took these elements and created a day burgeoning with western flair, a love for horses and warmth for each other. Here is part one of our Western Weddings feature.

Photos by TJ Photography.

Deanna Paulsen & Jesse Beckley: An old ranch barn served as the ideal backdrop to reflect the couples’ western lifestyle.

Wedding Invitation: Deanna wanted a rustic wedding invite that represented the laid back ranch wedding she was planning. She worked together with a designer on Etsy.com to put it together, and printed them herself.

Venue: Three Bars Ranch – Cranbrook, BC. Colour Scheme. The main color was turquoise – the western world signature color and Deanna’s favourite. The turquoise was adorned with orange and a splash of pink for a very bright and fun color palette.

Grooms Attire: Jesse wore a turquoise Cinch shirt, starched Cinch White Label jeans and Rios of Mercedes ostrich boots. His groomsmen wore black Cinch shirts and Cinch White Label jeans (also starched, of course!).

Wedding Gown: Deanna chose a strapless A-line gown from Mena’s Bridal Boutique, Calgary, Alberta. Shoes. These were Deanna’s “something borrowed”. She chose a cute pair of pink high heels she discovered in her mother’s closet.

Jewelry: Deanna kept it simple with a small bracelet and earrings, while her bridesmaids were adorned with chunky turquoise necklaces that she found online.

Bridesmaids: Deanna’s bridesmaids had the liberty of choosing their own dresses, so long as they were short and black.

Cake: The couple went non-traditional, opting for cupcakes from Craves Cupcakes in Calgary, Alberta.

Flowers: For the bride – a beautiful combination of orange and pink gerbera daisies and orange dahlias in her bouquet, adding a splash of turquoise in her centre pieces with the spider mums she chose.

Party Favors: Guests could choose from an array of sweets and take home goody bags full of all their favorites.

Centerpieces: Deanna used antique turquoise jars from Jesse’s grandmother’s personal collection and filled them with beautiful flowers. Each table was numbered on a chalkboard, using NRHA patterns 1 through 11 – adding a nice reining-related touch.

Wine: The Show, a California made Cabernet Sauvignon.

On each place-setting at the reception was a “Matchmaker” for each guest’s enjoyment, filled with questions and answers about the happy couple. Photo by TJ Photography

For more Western weddings ideas…Check out Western Weddings Part IIWestern Weddings Part IIIWedding Bliss  & Cowboy Weddings