Friday, January 6, 2012

Cowboy Chic -- Armoires, credenzas, and coffee tables

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 ( ) 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.

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