Asked about the inspiration for his leather stamping, Dale says, "Cowboying represents the outdoors, it represents nature and life, and flowers represent nature and life. So for most of my stamping I use a lot of buds and I use a lot more leaves, and I try to represent nature as close as you can on leather."
The making of handcrafted gear has flourished over the past three decades, with makers experimenting with new materials, techniques and designs, and adding their personal stamp to a long legacy of traditional artistry. We introduce Dale Harwood, saddlemaker. Learn a bit about the skills, ingenuity, and perseverance that goes into making a "good hand," in this Art of Gearmaking video from our Back At The Ranch exhibition.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Dale´s reputation as a saddlemaker extends far beyond the borders of Idaho, the state he has always called home. He has set his standards high, from the sizing and shaping of the wooden trees that form the base of his saddles to the beautifully stamped leather and silver engraved finishes. A founding member of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association, Dale received the Best of Show award at the Western Folklife Center´s 1997 saddle exhibition and was honored with the Idaho Governor´s Arts Award for Excellence in Folk and Traditional Arts in 2004. In 2008, Dale was rewarded one of the nation’s highest honors with a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Filmed on the Spanish Ranch, Tuscarora, NV, and Trail’s End Saddle Shop, Idaho Falls, ID. 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.