Living Waters Bucket
Family history inspired Darold Francis to begin coopering. His great, great-grandfather, John Francis, was a cooper (barrel maker) by trade, as was his father before him. Picking up a love of woodworking and building as a young man, Darold decided to direct his own skills towards reviving this Francis family tradition.
Reversible Saddle Cinch
Gladys Oliver and her mother Lulu Yazzie weave wool cinches, a once common item that is now quite rare. Navajo weavers likely started making cinches for when the leather straps on military saddles needed replacement. Though the art form became virtually extinct during the last century, a few weavers in the Monument Valley area have revived the skill.
Bob Ray is a self-taught saddle maker who learned by taking saddles apart. His buckaroo-style saddles are inspired by the Mexican vaquero tradition, decorated with elaborately carved floral designs known as “Sheridan style.” Artists, like Bob, create these designs using tools, such as swivel knives and stamps, to compress moistened leather, giving it a three-dimensional look. Such decorative elements allow artists to showcase their skills while honoring the past.