Ethics of Arts & Craft – An Interview With Silversmith Scott Hardy

Story and Photos by A.J. Mangum This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.74 Five years into his career as a silversmith, Scott Hardy had a decision to make. It was the mid-1980s and the Alberta craftsman was blessed with a full workload, making trophy buckles for rodeos and team ropings. It was becoming […]

Storylines in Saddle Leather – Rick Bean shares the process behind his artistry

Story and Photos by A.J. Mangum This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.73 Rick Bean’s saddle shop occupies the center of the ground floor of the home he shares with his wife, Kristie, on a small farm outside Meridian, an agricultural community northwest of Boise, Idaho. A half-mile from the highway, with the […]

Elegant Ways – Revered Craftsman Bill Heisman

Written by A.J. Mangum This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.72 Bill Heisman’s bit and spur shop is on the edge of Saguaro National Park, a surreal forest of towering cacti outside Tucson. The road winds through saguaro-covered hills and enters a subdivision, where Bill’s home is situated along a quiet street. His shop, […]

Curiosity & Craft – Dave Alderson’s Never-ending Pursuit of Knowledge

Story and Photos by A.J. Mangum This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.70. Editors note: Alderson has since resigned from the TCAA. Inside Dave Alderson’s silversmithing shop, located on the rural outskirts of Twin Falls, Idaho, workbenches and machinery occupy nearly every square foot of floor space. Narrow pathways wind among workstations and imposing […]

The Ground Seat

This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.66 Saddle makers are often asked what a person should look for in a comfortable saddle. Though it is a fair question, a simple answer is tough to come by. The key lies in what is called the ground seat. Although many riders are unfamiliar with how […]

Cary Schwarz – Thoughts on Saddlemaking

Written by Heather Smith Thomas There are many good saddlemakers/ craftsmen who create superior western tack. Cowboy gear has become an art form in recent decades, but there must always be a connection between art and function. Cary Schwarz, a saddlemaker in Salmon, Idaho, says most people tend to compartmentalize and separate things so we […]

Buckaroo Gear: A Way Of Life

Written by Doreen Shumpert This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.39 Carlos Macias is cowboy through and through, but he’s not sure where it came from. Born in town to a completely non-agricultural family, he guesses his cowboy side grew out of a love and respect for animals and from his opportunities to […]

Jeremiah Watt: Something Different

Written by Doreen Shumpert This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.38 The courage to do something different places you in a different position. Being a little bit of a risk taker has its advantages. Those are insightful quotes from renowned cowboy artisan Jeremiah Watt of Coalinga, Calif., (located on top of a row […]

The Double Diamond Halter Co.

Written by Doreen Shumpert “It’s tougher than you think.” With that simple statement, the “gauntlet had been thrown down” as Pete Melniker said, the challenge was on, and the seed was planted for what would become the Double Diamond Halter Company, Inc. As a youngster, east-coast – born Melniker rode horses some and learned how […]