I don’t usually travel much anymore since moving out of my former life’s work but January as been an exception. With all the work in the shop over the past year there hasn’t been much opportunity to “get out”. January was one of those months where things slowed down a little while waiting for saddle trees to arrive. Oh, I still had work to do but January presented some opportunities I couldn’t pass up.
In the early part of the year I took a trip to Coalville, Utah, to spend three great days with Saddlemaker Gordon Andrus. I’ve always like Gordon’s work and his academic training as a ceramic artist presented an opportunity to look at floral design in a new way for me. We spent three days studying, drawing, and executing one of our creating patterns to leather. His way of teaching was very easy for me to learn from as it was very similar to the style I used in coaching Track & Field athletes for many years. Good teaching is more than showing someone how to do the details of a particular task. In it’s purest and most eloquent form good teaching must present guiding principles that can aid the student to create solutions to any problem they may face in practice. Gordon did a fine job of accomplishing this goal.
After returning from Utah it was a pretty quick turn around and then I headed to Norman, Oklahoma, to work with the coaching staff for the University of Oklahoma Track & Field team. It was nice to meet some old friends and to do a little teaching again.
Now I’m getting ready to drive to Arizona to display a saddle I made for the TCAA (Traditional Cowboy Artists Assoc) Emerging Artist show. It will be held January 23-25 in Mesa, AZ, in conjunction with the High Noon Show and Auction. This should be a great event to see and I am looking forward to learning from all the other saddle makers and silversmiths who will be displaying their recent work there.
See you in February!!