When a group of Western craftsmen got together in 1998 to form the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA), they had a shared goal: to preserve and promote cowboy arts. Those arts fall into four disciplines: saddlemaking, bit and spur making, silversmithing, and rawhide braiding.
The TCAA has more than met its goal, as its members have taken impressive steps to pass on the knowledge and skill of cowboy arts to the next generation through education programs and workshops. In 1999, it partnered with the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to host its first annual exhibition and sale.
Since then, the organization has brought cowboy arts to the forefront, as cowboys and collectors from throughout the United States, as well as from other countries, eagerly gather to see—and purchase—the unique works its members create. Those works carry with them some hefty price tags that reach upward of $60,000. While the artists who create them appreciate the opportunity to show and sell their works at the TCAA show, many of them appreciate more the opportunity to challenge themselves to create the most uniquely exceptional pieces they can envision.
Read the full article in the September/October 2022 issue.
Sterling silver bolo with gold accents
By Beau Compton, silversmith
Saddle entitled “For the Girls Who Rode Wild Horses” with silver embellishments by Scott Hardy
By John Willemsma, saddlemaker
Detail of full bridle set with round and flat braids made out of cow rawhide and silver by Mark Drain
By Nate Wald, rawhide braider
Buffalo skull spurs with gold accents and engraved steel
By Wilson Capron, bit and spur maker