Blue Spurs and Bit
Growing up in a “horse poor” family taught Lane Dilworth the value of hard work and the pride of accomplishment. Therefore, when he could not find the kind of equipment he needed, Lane figured out how to make it himself.
With a father who ranches, a mother who rides, and sisters who are horse trainers, Lane soon found himself making bits and spurs for family, friends, and a growing number of customers.
Lane makes his pieces from distinctive blue metal with engraved silver overlay. He enjoys seeing others use and appreciate the equipment he has so carefully crafted. Although highly decorative and unique, Lane values affordability and utility and so he prices his work to be affordable for the average horse person.
After years in the construction and metalworking industries, Ray Zufelt can make just about anything using pieces of scrap iron, pipe, and horseshoes. He uses these construction and welding skills to create art such as lawn furniture from discarded farm equipment along with decorative fences and entryways from pieces of sheet steel.
When he is not working, Ray enjoys combining his welding skills and imagination to make miniatures that depict the everyday western lifestyle of his community. Some of these pieces do more than replicate the machinery and activities of the past. Instead, they become sculptures that capture the romantic notions associated with the cowboy way of life.
DeWitt Palmer always enjoyed making things with his hands. Growing up, he was particularly interested in watching his uncle make tack from braided rawhide. When he retired, he taught himself to prepare raw cowhides and to braid.
The hair and flesh are removed, and the hide is cut into uniform strips. The edges are then beveled so the strings will lie flat when braided, a characteristic required for both strength and beauty. Relying on his experience with metal construction learned through his job, DeWitt developed a rawhide cutter.
Using this cutter, DeWitt produced smooth, even strings which he braided into finely constructed reins, headstalls, hobbles, and bosals. Customers, both local and regional, purchased his work, primarily for show horses.
DeWitt wanted the art of rawhide braiding to be passed along to be enjoyed and appreciated by future generations. He shared his rawhide braiding knowledge and skills through apprenticeships and demonstrations.