It's great fun for me to look back at the progress of my cowboy chic furniture built and marketed as "Lure of the Dim Trails" between 1989 and 2002. As I pointed out in an earlier post ( http://a-drifting-cowboy.blogspot.com/2011/11/cowboy-folk-art-lure-of-dim-trails.html ) my original inspiration was the silhouetted furniture created by the late Thomas Molesworth. As time went on and I traveled more, my knowledge base expanded, allowing my art to grow, especially after attending a couple of the Western Design Conferences in Cody, Wyoming. The coffee table, end table and credenza above were built about 1995.
The sideboard above was a commission earned at the second design conference. It has drawers and doors, and was designed to work as a sideboard for a home in Big Sky, Montana. The owner often has moose traveling through his backyard, which set the theme.
The "Californios" credenza above was a serious learning curve for my cabinet-making skills. The owner was a California cattle rancher who needed a credenza to house his television and stereo. The two doors on the right open and slide back into the cabinet. There's also a sliding shelf that allows the television to be pulled forward and swivel for viewing.
The little cabinet above was an unpainted furniture item purchased about 1990 from a local shop at the beginning of my folk art career. Over the years I found lots of plain cabinetry that I could decorate and finish without spending an extraordinary amount of time crafting a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture. The more rustic pieces needed to be hand-crafted. They cost a lot more because of the extra time required to fabricate them.
Above left is a "Dude Riders" armoire which is a perfect example of my use of unpainted furniture crafted by others. Next to it (on the right) is an absolutely one-of-a-kind chair with a relief-carved horse head on the back rest, six-guns carved for armrest supports, and cowboy boots carved into the bottom of the front legs. The chair was an absolute labor of love and took more than a week to build.
I named the coffee table above"Prairie Crossing." It was one of my earliest pieces created about 1990. It features cowboys on a trail drive and Indians hunting buffalo. What could be more Western? It found a good home in Bridgeport, California.