Horses are always nearby Doug Krause's workshop in Eaton, Colorado. He believes that without the effort to become a better horseman, he would not have the understanding, feel, and knowledge to build equipment of the quality and function valued by horsemen. The interior of his workshop is designed to accommodate a number of Doug's skills–mecate making, horsehair hitching, saddlemaking, and braiding–each with their own set of tools.
The making of handcrafted gear has flourished over the past two decades, with makers experimenting with new materials, techniques and designs, and adding their personal stamp to a long legacy of traditional artistry. Meet Doug Krause, horsehair worker, and learn a bit about the skills, ingenuity, and perserverance that goes into making a "good hand," in this Art of Gearmaking video from our Back At The Ranch exhibition.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Doug has been braiding since 1972, hitching since 1978, and making mecates since 1995. Doug believes building horse gear is an evolution, a kind of journey. His mecates are very traditional in style, but their construction has been made more efficient in recent years with the use of innovative tools once used by a rope maker named Blind Sam. Doug received the "Best of Show" award in the Western Folklife Center's Gathering of Gear show in 1998, and was designated the Hitcher and Braider of the Year in 2001 by the Academy of Western Artists.
Filmed on the TS Ranch, Argenta, NV. Produced by the Western Folklife Center in 2004.
Director, Camera, & Editor Chris Simon. Producer & Sound Recordist Meg Glaser.
Made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, Anne Pattee, Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest, Community Folklife Program Fund for Folk Culture, and by the multitude of staff, artists, volunteers, and community members working behind the scenes.
Brought to you by the Western Folklife Center, using story and cultural expression to connect the American West to the world.