When founding TCAA member and Idaho saddlemaker Cary Schwarz receives inspiration, occasionally it seems to “come out of thin air.” For his 2018 TCAA saddle, the idea of horses grazing in a field just happened to be his motivation. Schwarz designed a unique carving pattern that represented the field and placed images of horses in the middle of the decorated areas, thus bringing his idea to life. The horses are burned in with a pyrography tool. The cantle back is beautifully filigreed and set with an incredible sterling silver plate.
“I wanted to commemorate the fact that cowboy culture revolves around the horse,” said Schwarz.
The saddle certainly does that. Both the folio cover and keepsake box are reminiscent of the saddle and feature this majestic animal in their design also.
Schwarz uses “A” grade Hermann Oak leather in all of his work.
132 Williams Creek Rd
Like a lot of leather artisans, Cary Schwarz began working leather as a young boy when he was given his first Tandy Leather kit. He soon outgrew those kits and started creating on his own.
In the late 1970s he walked into a holster shop in Twin Falls, ID to apply for a job. “I’ll never forget the day I walked in there to apply for the job. I looked at those people who were making beautiful things out of leather and I couldn’t believe they were being paid to do it. That really planted the seed and I could see that this was something worthwhile pursuing,” said Schwarz.
In the early 1980s he attended a trade school for saddlemaking in Spokane, WA where he learned the basics of building a saddle from Jesse Smith. Soon after, Schwarz opened his own saddle shop and has been polishing his artistic talent and techniques ever since.
Now, Cary Schwarz is one of the most revered saddlemakers in the country and has mentored and taught others in the field all over the world.
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