Craftsmen

Images in Iron: Tex Welch’s Metal Art

Le Ranch metal sign

This western artist produces scenes that stand out—over your gate.

You might say that Tex Welch developed his artistic technique in the oil fields. At least, that’s where he learned to handle a cutting torch, and that’s where he was making his living before he started creating his living before he started creating his silhouette signs.

Two of his ranch signs have been featured in the “Pony Tracks” column of WH (January and February 1987) and they are the kind that really catch your eye.

Boots made by Tex Welch.
Tex Welch's metal art for an oil field company.

The signs started with his father, O.J. Welch, in Tatum, New Mexico. O.J. started cutting simple designs from metal to use as decorative trim. This became a hobby for him, and he sold a few of them. Then Tex lost his job in the oil fields and came back home. It turned out that the younger Welch has a natural talent for art. He took over the metal business from his father and eventually built a workshop and showroom. Meantime, the business was expanding to require more employees.

The town of Tatum has been spruced up with new street signs Tex designed and donated, and several local businesses sport Westcraft signs.

This article was originally published in the June 1987 issue of Western Horseman.

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