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I recently had the opportunity to Interview Canadian silversmith and current TCAA president Scott Hardy. The big news is that for the first time the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association will be teaming up with the Cowboy Artists of America in a joint exhibition titled Cowboy Crossings to be held October 14-15, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

HMH: This must be a very exciting year for you Scott, you’re closing in on the end of your TCAA presidency, what were some of the challenges? What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Scott: "This was suppose to be the last of my term as an officer but in the spring meeting the membership asked me to stay on as president for one more year. The thinking there was I had done so much with the negotiations to make the joint opening happen that I was in the best position to help with the post show talks and preparation for next year along with the fact in doing this, it puts our association’s officer rotations in synch.

As far as what I’m most proud of its helping bring two great associations together for what I think will be the ultimate in all things western for both other craftsmen and collectors. I’m extremely proud of the TCAA members, they have responded to this by raising the level of their work even more!"

HMH: Indeed, this is a special year for the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association, you’ll be joining forces with the Cowboy Artists of America is this a good match?

Scott: “The TCAA and CAA will feature two great associations coming together for one incredible show! Not only is there great respect between the associations but we have similar goals as in the education promotion and preservation of our disciplines and the west. Along with that, when you are in the galleries in Oklahoma, they will be filled with the works of 39 of today’s most prominent western artists all featured in what I think as the greatest western museum in North America, it’s a perfect match!”

HMH: Wow, sounds exciting! So down to business, everyone wants to know about the work, what do you guys have in store for us this year? Tell us about some of the fantastic pieces we’ll be seeing.

Scott: "All the members approached this year with an incredible sense of excitement, the results; fantastic! Don Reeve’s almost daily phone calls when the work started arriving at the Museum were extremely fun for me. He made statements like, ‘every member hit it out of the park, even the minor pieces are stand alone’ etc. Mike Nicola was at the Museum and had to phone me with his statement, ‘this show is even better than the 10th year show’, and I don’t know how they achieve it.

What we have here is creative juices gone crazy, 5 saddles, each one totally different than the other. Pedro Pedrini has his take on an 1850s California Don’s saddle, Chuck Stormes a salute to the 1890’s World’s Fair winning saddle, Rick Bean’s impression of a Miles City saddle full of wild roses, Cary Schwarz with a saddle that Mike Nicola said shines like the stars at night. Cary has over 60 silver flower pods in a carve job that is absolutely a work of art. John Willemsma created a full carved saddle with hand made roses attached! That’s just the saddle makers. Each discipline has created the same way, individual functional works of Western Art!"

HMH: Will we be seeing any new member work this year? Is anyone exhibiting for the first time?

Scott: “There are no new members this year but we have 4 applications and there are some exciting craftspeople coming to the show. For me that part is very satisfying because it tells me the TCAA is working.”

HMH: On a sad note, you lost a member this year with the passing of renowned saddle maker Bill Maloy, I had the privilege of visiting his shop, he was a true western gentleman, a great craftsman and just a really terrific guy.

Scott: “Losing Billy Maloy was really hard on us all. He was a great saddlemaker that had passion for his trade to the end. Losing Billy is the end of an era of craftsmanship in Reno [Nevada]. He was the last of the trio of Alvin Pecetti, Al Tietjen and of course Billy. These three set the bar for craftsmanship; literally for decades.”

HMH: How about your own work Scott? What wonderful works of silver and gold came out of your shop this year?

Scott: "As for what I created, I had so much fun I’m not sure it’s legal. My main project was something I’ve had in my mind for years. A way to present wine to your guests that tells the story of the west from start to finish. I took a longhorn steer horn (one we had raised and had passed away) and created a bed of sterling silver that fit on the end of the horn for a bottle of wine to rest in. This is all held in place by a granite, ebony and filigreed sterling silver base. From the tip of the sterling silver wine boat to the sterling silver ball on the end of the steer horn it covers over 3 feet!

I also created a headstall that has 10 pieces of filigreed sterling silver and 14K gold flower pods (Pedro Pedrini carved and hand stitched the leather). And last but not least a 3 color 18K and 14K gold overlaid 3 piece buckle set and a sterling silver fully filigreed rectangular buckle that fits a 1&1/4 inch belt.

For me this year is special for a few reasons, this is my 30th year as a craftsman, the coming together of these two great associations, my peers voting to ask me to remain president for one more year and that over the 13 TCAA exhibitions and sales I have worked on 64 collaboration projects and 53 of my own projects."

HMH: Now that is impressive! I don’t know how you guys manage to top yourselves each year, this year’s show sounds spectacular. Thanks so much for sharing your expertise and insight with us today.

Scott: “You’re very welcome! We hope to see everybody at the show this year!”


Tracy Schumer is the editor of High Minded Horseman. A Florida native and lifetime horse enthusiast, she is currently based in Europe where she rides dressage, enjoys carriage driving and is always on the hunt for new experiences with horses.

Comments for TCAA 2011 Show Sneak Preview

  1. Rc Helicopters on December 10, 2011 I suggest adding a “google+” button for the blog!