Craftsmen

Meet the Makers from the 2023 Western Lifestyle Trade Craft Showcase

What began in each of these teens as a spark of creativity shone brightly at this year’s Western Lifestyle Trade Craft Showcase.

What began in each of these teens as a spark of creativity shone brightly through their creations at this year’s Western Lifestyle Trade Craft Showcase. Combining discipline with technique and personal taste, they drew inspiration from Western and Native American culture and the admired craftsmen and women who have come before them. In addition to vying for first place in the showcase’s four categories—Craftsmanship, Fashion, Tack & Equipment and Art — they also competed to win scholarships, champion titles, and certificates to continue their education through Be A Maker School. Though the showcase has plenty to admire, spanning from gator inlaid chaps to beaded jewelry, a maker’s job is never done. Sewing. Hammering. Cutting. Painting. We’re sure these talented teens are only just getting started.

Emma Ardnt

Emma Ardnt submitted multiple pieces: riding leggings, tooled leather belts, custom branded riding boots and a turquoise necklace. Ardnt’s leggings won the prize of Overall Grand Champion. She was awarded a $1,250 scholarship and a certificate to continue her education through Be A Maker School.

“My goal for these leggings was to make something that I have never seen before and to make them very flashy and unique. The hardware is sterling silver and genuine turquoise. There is also genuine gator inlaid.”

Walker Hanafin

Walker Hanafin submitted a welded boot rack, which won Reserve Champion. Hanafin was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

“[Being a maker] lets me know that I can make a product that other people can use, and it feels good to know that.”

Justin Anaya

Justin Anaya submitted a pair of leggings which placed second in the Craftsmanship category. Anaya is the Aspiring Maker award winner and received a certificate to continue his education through Be A Maker School.

“I want to learn [the Western trades] because I want to keep Western traditions alive.”

Dominic Dubberstine-Ellerbrock

Dominic Dubberstine-Ellerbrock submitted a cross to the Craftsmanship category, which he made from horseshoes and painted to resemble the American flag.

“[I] want to learn the Western trades because [that] way of life is like no other.”

Sadie Rempel

Sadie Rempel submitted pieces into all four categories. For the Fashion category, she entered tooled heels and a set including a hair clip and leather earrings; in the Art category, she submitted two framed drawings; for the Tack & Equipment category, she entered tooled spur straps, shotguns and beaver pelt woolies; and for the Craftsmanship category, she entered a tooled Bible cover and checkbook cover. She won first place in the Craftsmanship category, second place in the Art category, third place in the Fashion category and second place in the Tack & Equipment category.

Kylie Higgs

Kylie Higgs submitted four colorful and unique muletape halters for the 2023 Western Lifestyle Trade Craft Showcase.

“Being able to make, use and sell muletape halters is very rewarding. It’s great to sell [one] and have [five] more orders when people see my craftsmanship.”

Taylor Jones

Taylor Jones submitted three paintings to the Art category.

“Its’s fun [to learn more about Western trades], and it makes me feel like I’m closer to old traditions doing Western trades.”

Quinnton Schwaluk

Quinnton Schwaluk submitted a colorful pair of rodeo chaps in the Craftsmanship category. Schwaluk wants to learn about Western trades because he enjoys working and building with his hands. For him, being a Maker means

“[Being a maker means] doing the best you are able to do and getting it perfect…”

Ayla Goss

Ayla Goss submitted a three-piece set of Indigenous hand crafted earrings, bracelet and hat band. Her pieces “incorporate both loom beading as well as brick stick that requires each bead to be placed individually,” she says. Her work paid off as the beaded set won the Fashion category.

“[Being a maker] allows me to connect both my Western and Native heritage.”

Annah Southern

Annah Southern submitted a tooled leather keychain, phone case and vertical knife sheath in the Art, Fashion, and Tack & Equipment categories, respectively. She enjoys preserving the art of leather work and learning by making new pieces.

Katie Wright

Katie Wright submitted a beautiful rope can and strap in the Tack and Equipment category. Katie had made the rope can and strap as a birthday present for her little sister.

“[Being a maker means] being resourceful, creative and handy.”

Audrey Fagg

Audrey Fagg submitted a branded cowboy hat in the Craftsmanship category, a purse made from boots in the Fashion category, and a ceramic jewelry holder in the Art category. Her ceramic jewelry holder placed first in the Art category.

“Art has always fascinated me and has helped me express myself.”

Kadence Martin

Kadence Martin submitted a pair of spurs in the Craftsmanship category.

“These are my first pair of spurs, and I’m excited how they turned out. They are my own design, and I really wanted them to be unique and different from traditional styles.”

Tava Sexton

Tava Sexton submitted a painting in the Art category and a wool outfit in the Fashion category. Her painting of a horse painted like the American flag placed third and her wool outfit placed second.

“[I wanted to learn about Western trades] to keep the Western Heritage alive, so it can be passed on to future generations, and as an income.”

Abigale Peterson

Abigale Peterson submitted a hair clip in the Fashion category and a tooled halter in the Tack & Equipment category.

“I want to learn the Western trades because they are fun to make and do and have a lot of purpose to many people.”

Desatoya Coombs

Desatoya (Desi) Coombs submitted a hand-tooled tripping collar and exposed stirrup leathers for a ranch saddle in the Tack & Equipment category. Coombs won first place for her tooled stirrup leathers and breast collar in the category.

“[Being a maker means] being able to carry on the tradition that has been going for years, as well as getting to learn from my father.”

Tyler Porter

Tyler Porter entered a beautiful pair of handmade spurs, which placed third in the Craftsmanship category.

Lily Sexton

Lily Sexton submitted a wool skirt and vest set, the first outfit she has sewn, in the Fashion category.

“I think it’s important to know how to sew. It is part of our Western heritage.”

Kass Kimble

Kass Kimble submitted welded cactus art in the Art category. He said “After taking welding, I started making horseshoe art from my dads collection of shoes from his past shoeing career.” For Kimble, being a maker means creativity and bringing an idea to life.

“After taking welding, I started making horseshoe art from my dad’s collection of shoes from his past shoeing career.”

Jackson Schmidt

Jackson Schmidt submitted two muletape halters. He wants to learn Western trades to improve his craftsmanship.

“[My entry] is a rope noseband halter with an eight-strand lead rope that is all hand braided and tied.”

Paden Evans

Paden Evans submitted a braided breast collar in the Tack & Equipment category.

Find the results from the 2023 Western Lifestyle Trade Craft Showcase here.

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