Western Saddle Makers
The custom saddle makers are the craftsmen and artists at the top of the western saddle making craft. Most have spent long years learning their craft and apprenticing at the elbow of a master saddle maker. Becoming a top saddle maker requires years of practice and a good portion of innate talent.
Some of the most prominent and accomplished custom saddle makers include: Dale Harwood, Chas Weldon, Steve Mecum, Don King, Chuck Stormes, Rick Bean, Eddie Brooks, Jeremiah Watt, Robert Chavez, and Cary Schwarz.
There are also many talented, lesser known, saddle makers creating wonderful saddles in small saddlery shops thoroughout the country. Be sure to check out Custom Saddle Type, Buying a Custom Saddle, My Custom Saddle Experience, and Saddle Decoration.
Interested in Saddle Making?
Dusty Johnson - cowboy, saddle maker, author, and teacher - has operated one of the best known western saddle making schools for many years. His Pleasant Valley Saddlemaking School in Loveland, Colorado draws students from all over the world.
If you can't make it to Dusty's school, the next best thing is Dusty's Full Saddlemaking Course, consisting of the very thorough manual, Saddlemaking: Construction and Repair Techniques, a two hour companion DVD, and full size saddle patterns. The book, including Bench Notes with tips and techniques for saving time and money, and companion DVD provide complete and fully illustrated instructions on how to make a top quality western saddle with a minimum of tools and expense.
Dusty's book and video have sold a combined 60,000 copies, easily making them the best selling saddlmaking book and video ever. And Dusty has the new saddle maker in mind with a very affordable price for the whole set of only $70.00, including shipping. To order, call 800.571.0021 or email Dusty at DustyJohn@aol.com.
Dale Harwood is a western saddle making legend. His saddles are the standard that most saddle makers measure themselves against. Now Dale is sharing his methods and artistry in a new four hour, two disc DVD set called "The Art of Saddle Making."
The DVD set is a start to finish view into the making of a Wade saddle by a master. This is a presentation of Dale's process with clear explanations of the techniques and tools he uses to achieve the resutls that set him apart.
The DVD set is priced at $399.95. To order call 800.349.7078 or email email@example.com
You can see examples of the exquisite craftsmanship of Mr. Harwood and some of these other talented saddle makers in the online photo album for the Tradiitonal Cowboy Arts (TCA) Association Annual Exhibit. Make sure you click on the photos to enlarge them so you can really see the detail of the piece. Simply gorgeous craftmanship.