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Montana's Circle of American Maters in Visual Folk and Tradition Arts Montana Arts Council logo


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Meet the Masters

 

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Bill Allison


 

Bill Allison process
Bill Allison product
Bill Allison closeup

 

 


Bill ranched his entire life on the Little Powder River in Roundup. He started out making purse kits, carved belts, and chaps and built his first saddle in 1979. He continued to ranch and make saddles in the winter, with saddle-making providing extra income. In 2000, he opened a saddle shop in Roundup and began building saddles full-time, including period and replica saddles. Bill has learned to carve and tan leather for almost any project, and has exhibited at shows in Great Falls and in Wyoming.

 

www.allisonsaddlery.com
PO Box 248
482 Johnson Road
Roundup, MT 59072
(406) 323-3309
ballison@midrivers.com

 

 


 



Donovan Archambault Sr.

 

 

Donovan Archambault Sr. process
Donovan Archambault Sr. product
Donovan Archambault Sr. closeup

 

 

Donovan Archambault’s therapy and refuge is pipe making. Donovan is an enrolled member of the Assiniboine Tribe at the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. He is a self-taught pipe maker who took up pipe making as a hobby and made his first pipe in September of 2002. His pipe making has evolved into an art form he is proud of.

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PO Box 781
Harlem, MT 59526
(406) 673-3261
darch_blkbul@yahoo.com 
 




 


 

 

Melvin Beattie


 

Melvin Beattie process
Melvin Beattie product
Melvin Beattie art

 

 

 

Melvin Beattie is a traditional leather tanner from Helena. Out of his work with Cree craftswoman Mary Jackson, Beattie developed his signature pieces - soft, smoked, brain-tanned hide. Melvin teaches and demonstrates his art at powwows, rendezvous, art shows, schools and events.

 

www.braintanbuckskin.com
PO Box 7025
Helena, MT 59604
(406) 458-8670
braintanbuckskin@gmail.com

 

 

 


 



Mary Lou Big Day

 

 

Mary Lou Big Day process
Mary Lou Big Day product
Mary Lou Big Day art

 

 

 

Mary Lou Big Day, a Crow tribal member, learned about her culture, language, beading and art, from elders, family, and by participating in the life around her. Mary Lou embellishes dresses, regalia, bags, and horse gear; and each of her one-of-a-kind dolls offers a history lesson. She shares her Crow dolls with people of all ages across the U.S. and internationally. She is the first beadworker and member of the Crow Tribe chosen as Artist of the Year by the Indian Arts and Crafts Association.



PO Box 94
Pryor, MT 59066
(406) 248-1602



 


 

 

Eva Boyd

 

 

Eve Boyd process
Eva Boyd product
Eva Boyd art

 

 

 

Eva Boyd has almost single-handedly brought back the nearly lost art of Salish-style basket weaving on the Flathead reservation. She learned how to make split cedar root baskets and “sally bags” from her grandmother. Now Eva shares her knowledge through apprenticeships and projects like the Kellogg Foundation’s initiative to empower young leaders. Art in the Big Sky Culture Camp, which aims to raise science scores of American Indians, she demonstrated how science curriculums could incorporate Native teachings. Eva demonstrated her art for two days at the National Folk Festival, and she currently teaches basket weaving at Salish Kootenai Community College.



48615 Clarice Paul Lane
Ronan, MT 59864
(406) 676-8994
kene@ronan.net

 


 


 



Glenn Brackett

 

 

Glenn Brackett proces
Glenn Brackett product
Glenn Brackett art

 

 

 

Glenn Brackett, widely considered one of the preeminent bamboo flyrod builders of the current era, grew up learning to fish from his father and grandfather, who took him to the Winston Rod Company headquarters. Glenn never lost the passion that grew out of those experiences. After serving in the military, he began working for Winston Rods in San Francisco, became a company owner and moved the business to Twin Bridges, “where the fishing was good.” After selling the business, he has continued to build flyrods, founding a new company, Sweetgrass Rods, and leading the renewed interest in bamboo rods.

 

www.sweetgrassrods.com
501 N. Main Street
PO Box 415
Twin Bridges, MT 59754
(406) 684-5440
(406) 782-5552
booboys@3rivers.net

 


 


 

 

Ed Caffrey

 

 

Ed Caffrey process
Ed Caffrey product
Ed Caffrey art

 

 

 

Ed began his knife-making career at 12 when he bought a new knife for trapping season. That knife’s failure to hold an edge started his career. He continued knife-making, meeting mentors and joining the American Bladesmith Society. In 2000 he became one of 111 ABS Mastersmiths, with Mosaic Damascus his passion. Ed teaches bladesmithing across the U.S., Europe, and Canada. His work has appeared in publications like Knives Illustrated and the Wall Street Journal. Ed judges at the Journeyman and Mastersmith levels and co-founded the Montana Knifemaker’s Association.

 

www.caffreyknives.net
2608 Central Ave. West
Great Falls, MT 59401
(406) 727-9102
caffreyknives@gmail.com 

 


 


 



Rich Charlson

 

 

Rich Charlson process
Rich Charlson product
Rich Charlson art

 

 

 

Rich Charlson from Carter is a self-taught artist whose art has been featured in Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, Gallery 16, and was chosen Best of Show at the Montana State Fair. Rich gets his ideas for his work while he is on the tractor farming. Some of his bowls, on first glance, look like woven baskets and can take from two to six weeks of eight-hour days to create. He was “inspired” to become to an artist when he discovered farming didn’t always pay the bills. His earliest woodworking experience was in 1985 when drought forced him to look for other ways to make a living so he began routing redwood signs. Soon he bought a second-hand lathe and began turning bowls. Before long he started gluing wood to make patterned bowls and soon found he loved working with the wood to create rich works with a large variety of woods, including many native Montana ones, using their natural color and grain in beautiful patterns and designs. His bowls are the most popular items and have found new homes all over the United States and the world.

 

www.charliwood.com
1018 Charlson Dr.
Carter, MT 59420
(406) 734-5312
charlson@3rivers.net 

 


 


 

 

Jessie Clemans (1925-2014)

 

 

Jessie Clemens process
Jessie Clemens product
Jessie Clemens art

 




 

Jessie’s loom weaving and hand quilting has long been valued in her local community of Polson, but it was her respected talent in the ancient art of finger weaving for which she was best known. Her passion for history drove her to become accomplished in weaving the colorful sashes worn by the voyageurs of the Hudson Bay Company era, and the L’Assumption sashes worn by early boatmen, woodsmen, trappers and explorers hired by the fur companies. Later on, she was invited to both the Charlie Russell Museum in Great Falls and the State Historical Museum in Helena to authenticate those sashes of Charlie Russell, which were finger woven, from those woven on a loom. Jessie’s reputation for historical authenticity and quality is well recognized in Canada and the United States.

 


 


 



Tom Dean

 

 

Tom Dean process
Tom Dean product
Tom Dean closeup

 

 

 

Tom Dean’s custom one-of-a-kind wood carving sculptures are inspired by his 45-year passion and experience in fly fishing in Montana. He sculpts native trout, dragonflies, cattails, reeds, frogs, ducks and bison skulls from African, Australian, Central South American, Brazilian and Hawaiian exotic woods. Tom has been featured in Cowboy & Indians magazine as one of the best wood workers in the country, in addition to being published in many national and international publications.

 

www.milocreekcarvings.com
400 35th Ave. NE
Great Falls, MT 59404
(406) 868-8889
milocreek@bresnan.net

 



 


 

 

Rick Dunkerley

 

 

Rick Dunkerley process
Rick Dunkerley product
Rick Dunkerley closeup

 

 

 

Rick first started making knives in 1984; after moving to Montana in 1985, his interest in the craft increased. He made stainless steel hunters and utility knives until 1991, when he began forging carbon steel knives and creating Damascus steel. Rick joined the American Bladesmith Society a year later. Since receiving his journeyman smith rating in 1995, Rick’s main focus has been Damascus steel, particularly mosaic and composite bar blades. He has been a full-time knifemaker since 1996, and attained the American Bladesmith Society Mastersmith rating in 1997. Specializing in Damascus folding knives, Rick also enjoys making Bowie or Persian style straight knives.

 

www.dunkerleyhandmadeknives.com
PO Box 601
Lincoln, MT 59639
(406) 210-4101
dunkerleyknives@gmail.com

 



 


 



Scott Enloe

 

 

Scott Enloe process
Scott Enloe closeup
Scott Enloe product

 

 

 

Scott Enloe was influenced by his father and uncles who involved him in building everything and anything, but his passion for wood persisted. When he left his corporate job, he learned about furniture construction from a master chair builder and became a full-time woodworker. Scott became intrigued by cedar strip canoe building and learned about the art, which led to his building his first wood boat. Besides writing instructions and demonstrating the art of canoe building, he has helped a Boy Scout troop build 13 plywood canoes and then led them on a canoe excursion of the Clearwater River.

 

www.scottsboatworks.com
212 25th Ave. South
Great Falls, MT 59405
(406) 799-2662
scott@scottsboatworks.com





 


 

 

Judy Ericksen

 

 

Judy Ericksen process
Judy Ericksen product
Judy Ericksen art

 

 

 

Judy Ericksen hails from Great Falls, whose landscape of the central plains with its open rolling hills, grass and Missouri River caused her to reach for clay. She is a distinguished potter, educator and supporter of the arts whose achievements include the Governor’s Cultural Foundation Award (1990), the YWCA Salute to Woman Award (1994), and the Governor’s Award for Service to the Arts (2003). Judy works primarily in stoneware, creating functional pieces such as sinks and dinnerware but also works in porcelain and raku. Ericksen has taught ceramics and pottery at the University of Great Falls and has offered workshops at C.M. Russell Museum. She continues to offer classes at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art.

 

www.judyericksen.weebly.com
1508 13th Ave. SW
Great Falls, MT 59401
(406) 761-9614
j.ericksen@bresnan.net

 



 


 


Deb Essen

 

 

Deb Essen process
Deb Essen product
Deb Essen art

 

 

 

Deb Essen is a weaver from Victor who teaches weaving on local, regional, and national levels. When she was nine years old, she attended a Scandinavian celebration of the winter solstice called St. Lucia Day, where she watched a handweaver for the first time. Hand-weaving is a labor-intensive art and Deb learned that magic lived in the creative hands and mind of the weaver, which became her passion. In 2004, she completed and passed the Handweavers Guild of America Certificate of Excellence, Level 1 in Handweaving. In 2010, Deb began designing textiles for kits for handweavers, and she became the exclusive weaving designer for Mountain Colors yarns in 2011.

 

www.djehandwovens.com
1572 Blue Lupine Ln.
Victor, MT 59875
(406) 642-6424
info@djehandwovens.com

 

 

 


 

 

Leonda Fast Buffalo Horse

 

 

 Leonda Fast Buffalo Horse process
Leonda Fast Buffalo Horse product
Leonda Fast Buffalo Horse art

 

 

 

Leonda Fast Buffalo Horse was born on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Browning. The Southern Piegan Blackfeet artist uses both contemporary and traditional Native American designs in her art work, and draws on her traditional skills as a quillworker, using them in the medium of glassmaking. Her quillwork eagle feathers and stained-glass art includes headdresses, warrior shields, eagle fans, parfleche cases and animal figurines that carry on the tradition of her tribal art.

 

201 3rd Ave. SE
P.O. Box 373
Browning, MT 59417
(406) 338-3158
ondie@3rivers.net 

 

 

 


 



Laurie Gano

 

 

Laurie Gano process
Laurie Gano product
Laurie Gano art

 

 

 

Laurie Gano began exploring weaving while she and her husband travelled in Mexico. There she learned traditional tapestry weaving from a master Mexican weaver. As a production weaver in the New Mexico tapestry trade, she learned to weave quickly. She has continued weaving tapestries for over 35 years, teaching herself to create realistic landscapes. Where she and her husband live and ranch is uniquely suited to her art, and she uses landscape as her design source. Laurie has presented weaving workshops in Arizona, Wyoming, and Montana. Her work is known throughout the nation, appearing in shows, galleries, and private collections.

 

www.lauriegano.com 
48 Adams Ln.
Melville, MT 59055
(406) 537-4574
lggano@ttc-cmc.net





 


 

 

Randy Glick

 

 

Randy Glick process
Randy Glick product
Randy Glick closeup

 

 

 

Fiber artist Randy Glick of Great Falls enjoys spinning, weaving and knitting surrounded by the mountains, plains and rivers of north central Montana. Although he spent all of his adult life exploring the world in the Air Force, he now calls Montana home. His company, Pik Ka Handbag, is dedicated to celebrating the history and craft associated with Fiber Arts, while supporting efforts aimed at sustaining the economic viability of Montana's wool culture and entrepreneurial spirit. Known for its one-of-a-kind fiber creations, Randy specializes in products utilizing Montana sourced wool, and silk products inspired by the diverse landscapes of Big Sky County. In honor of the close working relationships he developed with local wool producers, Randy is very involved in every step of production from helping shear the sheep to designing ecologically friendly yarns.

 

www.pik-ka-handbag.com
3110 1st Ave. South
Great Falls, MT 59405
(406) 452-2666
pikkahandbag@outlook.com

 

 

 


 


Glenn Goldthwait

 

 

Glen Goldthwait process
Glen Goldthwait product
Glen Goldthwait art


 

 

Interested in smithing from the time he was a teen, Glenn began his dream of a rural, self-sustaining life in 1977. It was then that he built three hand-hewn cabins and found that the traditional ironwork needed for hinges and latches was not available. He purchased an anvil, a hammer, a few tongs and created ironwork for the cabins himself. Glenn called together others for the similar interests, and they organized the Northern Rockies Blacksmith Association. He has demonstrated ironwork at Fort Union, Bannack State Park and Nevada City. He has worked with Boy Scouts in his smithy and has a local young man as his apprentice.

 

www.montanaforge.com
291 Mill Creek Rd.
Sheridan, MT 59749
(406) 842-7948
kindred@cyberport.net




 


 

 

Al Chandler Good Strike

 

 

Al Chandler Good Strike process
Al Chandler Good Strike product
Al Chandler Good Strike closeup

 

 

 

Gros Ventre artist Al Chandler Goodstrike is known for his tipi and hide painting, as well as rawhide shields, rattles, parfleche bags and drums. As a boy, he learned hide tanning at an Indian boarding school in South Dakota and he returned to Fort Belknap to devote himself to traditional arts. He works with elk and buffalo hides, and uses natural earth paints and a bone brush. An award-winning artist, Al passes along his traditional tribal skills. He has worked closely with his son in tipi painting and conducted a Gros Ventre drum making and traditional music apprenticeship class in the Hays/Lodge Pole Junior/Senior High School.

 

www.chandlergoodstrike.com
PO Box 1038
Hayes, MT 59527
(406) 353-2659
goodstrike@hotmail.com
 

 

 


 



George Holt

 

 

Georige Holt process
George Holt product
George Holt art

 

 

 

George Holt’s deep passion for the saddle-making business began in 1968. His early years on horseback, riding in the weather alongside the working cowboys, were a critical part of learning how to build a saddle that can hold up under such a demanding workload while giving a comfortable ride. Each saddle takes close to 160 hours to tool and another 45 to 50 hours to fit and put the saddle together, while materials alone cost a minimum of $1,500 each. Recently, George won the Saddle Maker of the Year at the Academy of Western Artists 12th Annual Will Rogers Awards, in recognition of preserving the traditions, values and heritage of the American cowboy.

 

PO Box 86
Dillon, MT 59725
(406) 683-5018

 

 

 


 

 

Cody Houston

 

 

Cody Houston process
Cody Houston closeup
Cody Houston product

 

 

 

Cody Houston's sculpture reflects his life and interests, past and present. He is keenly interested in man and animals, and their relationship within our culture. Developing significant details necessary to imply the proper mood, Cody creates subjects for contemplation, study, and for personal identification.

 

www.houstonfineart.com
PO Box 110
Ulm, MT 59485
(406) 866-3446
cody@houstonfineart.com

 

 

 


 



James Jensen (1932-2016)

 

 

James Jensen process
James Jensen product
James Jensen art

 

 

 

A lifelong construction worker, Jim was known throughout Montana for his artistry with wood. He could look at a block of wood and see a bear, a cross, a flower, an angel, a “Roly-Poly”. What used to be “whittlin’ around the fire,” over time turned into art shows, and then work shown at galleries throughout Glacier Park, a totem pole in Washington, the cross at Risen Christ Parish, a bear carving relief in Washington, D.C., and then various galleries across the United States.

 

 

 


 



Howard Knight

 

 

Howard Knight process
Howard Knight product
Howard Knight closeup

 

 

 

Howard Knight grew up on an Idaho ranch where Thoroughbred racehorses were raised and trained. Since developing his life-long passion of carving leather with a 4-H project when he was eight, he has learned from a number of master leather carvers. Howard specializes in filigree work in the classic Western Floral style and has collaborated with bootmakers, clothing designers, silversmiths, bronze sculptors, and jewelry designers. He spends over forty hours a week working with leather but also passes on the tradition of leather work to the next generation and takes time to teach customers about the importance of one-of-a-kind pieces.

 

www.rockingkcustomleather.com
3443 Baldwin Road
Stevensville, MT 59870
(406) 531-2589
howard.knight@montana.com 

 

 

 


 

 

Maude Knudsen

 

 

Knudsen process
Knudsen product
Knudsen art

 

 

 

Montana native Maude Knudsen gained the gift of a lifelong love of weaving from weaver Hilda Cunningham, who taught her all types of weaving and encouraged her to teach other women who wanted to learn the art. Maude spins and weaves in area schools, with 4-H, and at the Montana State Fair, where she has served as Department Superintendent.  Key member of the Great Falls Weavers and Spinners Guild, she teaches spinning for Great Falls Adult Education, has mentored weavers, and is a corporate member of Gallery 16. In 1988, she became the only Montanan to achieve the Handweavers’ Guild of America Certificate of Excellence Master Weaver status.

 

1124 Country Line Rd.
Fort Shaw, MT 59443
(406) 467-2810
knudsen@3rivers.net 

 

 

 


 



Jackie Larson Bread

 

 

Larson Bread process
Larson Bread product
Larson Bread art

 

 

 

Jackie Larson Bread grew up on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, became interested in bead work and taught herself in the basic techniques. While working at the Museum of the Plains Indian in Browning, Montana, Ms. Bread began to study pre-twentieth century Plains Indian Bead work. This became a turning point in her art career. Now, museum quality reproductions of the mid to late 1800s plains style bead work is the focus of her work. Ms. Bread is also a leader in a recent development in pictorial beadwork, the illusionary style. A strictly contemporary phenomenon, illusionary bead work is the practice of working with various shades of beads to create pictorial depth. Ms. Bread’s pieces are photorealistic Native American portraits, which are placed on nineteenth century style bags and sheaths.

 

3126 7th Ave. South
Great Falls, MT 59401
(406) 452-0247



 

 


 

 

Ken Light

 

 

Light process
Light product
Light closeup

 

 

 

Ken is a flute-maker whose designs, detailed artisanship and artistic style are known for their authenticity, instrumental performance, and craftsmanship. His early flute designs and introduction of traditional tunings in the mid-eighties serve as a template for many artists and flute-makers. Ken has made over 7,000 flutes, and is a dedicated teacher and a lifelong educator.

 

www.aoflutes.com
73258 Lemlama Ln.
Arlee, MT 59821
(406) 381-9115
aoflutes@blackfoot.net

 

 

 


 



Annette Archdale Linder

 

 

Linder process
Linder product
Linder art




 

Annette Archdale Linder was born into a large family on the Fort Peck Reservation in northeastern Montana. Her early years were spent engaged in farm work and the evenings were occupied with hand-sewing projects such as tipis, dance regalia, and star as well as patch quilts. As Annette started her own family she began to pass on what she was taught by her elders. Annette has shared many elements of her work with both the local and regional community, as well as in a more widespread way by participating and demonstrating her art at events such as the National Folk Festival and providing information on her pieces to institutions such as the Montana Historical Society and the Smithsonian Institute.



nrlinder@gmail.com
PO Box 802
Wolf Point, MT 59201
(406) 653-3461


 


 


 

 

Gordon McMullen (1926-2012)

 

 

McMullen process
McMullen product
McMullen closeup

 

 

 

When nominated at 83, Gordon McMullen had worked with wood since he was nine. He inherited his first woodworking tools and his love of wood from his grandfather, an English cabinetmaker, and those gifts were passed on to a grandson. Gordon wanted to become an industrial arts teacher, married his wife Barbara, and worked as a plumber and mechanic to support a family of seven children. On retirement, he pursued his dream to become a full-time wood turner and also designed and built a lathe to turn large bowls. He mentored high school students and adults, including a skateboard designer. Gordon has left an incredible legacy.


 

1547 N. Hunters Way
Bozeman, MT 59718
(406) 587-2373
rgmcmt@gmail.com

 

 

 


 



Wade Miller

 

 

Miller process
Miller product
Miller closeup

 

 

 

Saddle maker Wade Miller of Ennis grew up on a ranch that provided the background necessary to create truly useful leather products. More than an occupation, leather work has become a passion for excellence and the traditions that made saddles what they are to western culture and history. Years of using the saddles and gear on ranches and in the mountains, and repairing others’ saddles has shown which methods and practices work best. Wade and his son Richard produce custom saddles, tack, and pack equipment in their shop east of Ennis.

 

www.madisonsaddlery.com
83 Jeffers Rd.
Ennis, MT 59729
(406) 682-7134
madsdlry@3rivers.net

 


 


 

 

Randy Mundt (1948-2013)

 

 

Mundt process
Mundt product
Mundt closeup

 

 

 

A third-generation cattle rancher, Randy Mundt worked with iron as long as he could remember. His father taught him, and he used his grandfather’s tools. Randy first made knives, bits and spurs. Ornamental iron intrigued him, so he studied the work of master blacksmiths and then experimented. As a result, his skill grew, and soon customers sought his work. Randy demonstrated in the 2009 National Folk Festival, shared his knowledge at hammer-ins, and willingly showed anyone interested in blacksmithing what he knew. He enjoyed working with his customers as a design emerged, and viewed this exchange as a way to teach about the craft.


 

 

 


 



Darrell Norman

 

 

Norman process
Norman product
Norman art

 

 

 

Darrell Norman from Browning is an Amskapi Pikani artist who specializes in both contemporary and traditional presentations of Blackfeet tribal art based on Blackfeet design, imagery, and symbolism. He learned traditional art forms, drums, rattles, shields, and par fleche work from elders and other artists. He has been an artistic consultant for the American Indian Museum in Washington D.C. In creating his traditional objects, Darrell uses original materials, working with rawhide, buckskin, bone, stone, wooden bells, glass beads, hair, and cloth. He continually recreates the archetypes that define his people and perpetuate the Pikani cultural identity for future generations.

 

www.blackfeetculturecamp.com
PO Box 1832
Highway 89 | Durham Road
Browning, MT 59417
(406) 338-2787
tipicamp@3rivers.net

 

 

 


 



Jay D. Old Mouse

 

 

Old Mouse process
Old Mouse product
Old Mouse closeup

 

 

 

Jay D. Old Mouse was chosen as the flute-maker, designated keeper and player of the Northern Cheyenne courting flute by his maternal grandfather, Black Bear, when Jay was in his early 20s. Carrying forward a tribal heritage of flute-makers, Jay carves and molds each flute from a single piece of aromatic cedar. When he “chases” the tune from the tones of the flute, he says his music comes from the heart. For over 20 years, Jay has played his flutes to set a mood, heal others, and to bring them joy. Additionally, Old Mouse shares the history of the Cheyenne courting flute at festivals and events across the nation.



PO Box 517
Lame Deer, MT 59003
(406) 477-8369
(406) 740-2176
ajomboyz@hotmail.com

 

 

 


 

 

Sylvia Overby

 

 

Overby process
Overby product
Overby closeup



 

 

Sylvia, of Plentywood, learned to sew from her mother, who brought the knowledge of Hardanger lace with her from Norway. Sylvia prefers the traditional white on white, or ecru on ecru, but does work with colors occasionally. She shares her knowledge by teaching adult education classes in Montana and in Canada, and has also entered projects in fairs and exhibits, including a traveling art show sponsored by the Montana Arts Council. Perhaps most importantly, Sylvia has worked with apprentices, including the MAC Apprenticeship program, sharing her "trade secrets" she has learned through experience.

 

564 Box Elder
Plentywood, MT 59254
(406) 765-1499
4eandso@nemont.net

 



 


 



Sarah Pilgrim

 

 

Pilgrim process
Pilgrim product
Pilgrim art

 

 

 

Living and working on the high plains of southwestern Montana is where Sarah finds inspiration for her woven garments, using color in unexpected combinations. She most enjoys the rhythm of the weaving process and the feel of thread moving through her hands. By painting threads before she puts them on the loom, she creates patterns and uses color in unusual ways to make one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable art. Translating centuries-old weaving traditions into 21st century wearable art, Sarah integrates design with color.

 

www.sarahpilgrim.com
18 Morrison Rd.
Wilsall, MT 59086
(406) 578-2345
spilgrim@wispwest.net

 

 

 


 



Beverley Polk

 

 

Polk process
Polk product
Polk closeup

 

 

Beverly Polk grew up in an environment that was saturated with fiber arts. Everyone around her knit, wove, crocheted, embroidered, tatted, or sewed. At home in Wilsall, in her barn-turned-weaving studio, Bev. is still in love with weaving. Her weaving is vibrant, pleasurable and useful, and her practical and vibrant heirlooms for your "every today" - towels, runners, and table toppers - are created in colors and designs inspired by her surroundings. Bev. connects to her community by teaching informally on a one-to-one basis. She traveled to Africa in 2004 for the Rafiki Foundation in Uganda, where she rebuilt looms and started a weaving program for teenage students. Today, after more than 40 years, several looms, and thousands of miles of thread, Bev. continues her passion in earnest.

 

www.bevpolkhandweaver.com
302 Hanford Street N.
Wilsall, MT 59086
(406) 578-2108
btpolk@q.com

 

 

 


 


Jan Popa

 

 

Popa process
Popa product
Popa closeup


 

 

Raised on a Flathead Valley hay farm, Jan Sanders Popa learned to sew from her mother. Sewing at every opportunity, Jan entered competitions, winning state and national contests. She then became interested in quilting, continuing her interest in color and fabric and focusing her creativity on art quilts. Jan never hesitates to share her skill with others, demonstrating for the 200-member Falls Quilt Guild, for state and international quilt shops and groups. In recognition of her contribution, Jan was inducted into the Falls Quilt Guild Hall of Fame.

 

www.montanaattitudes.com
4001 Huckleberry Dr.
Great Falls, MT 59404
(406) 727-0781
jan@janpopa.com

 



 


 

 

Birdie Real Bird

 

 

Real Bird process
Real Bird product
Real Bird closeup

 

 

 

Birdie Real Bird is a Crow beadworker, and is known across Montana for her exquisite beading projects and dolls. Taught by her grandmother and beading artist elders in her tribe, Birdie uses correct Crow traditional designs and colors in her work. Her dolls are in many collections, including the Smithsonian Museum. Now retired, Real Bird devotes her time to beading, speaking at reservation schools about Crow culture, in addition to her work with numerous agencies across Montana.

 

Garryowen, MT 59031
(406) 638-2422

 


 


 



Jim Rempp

 

 

Rempp process
Rempp product
Rempp closeup

 



 

Bowmaker Jim Rempp learned from his father to hunt and work with wood, which spurred a desire to make his own bows. In Hawaii, he carved surfboards and apprenticed with a Japanese master who taught him how to use the properties of wood to insure performance. In Montana, Jim met Ted Kramer who taught him about yew, the wood of choice for centuries of bowmaking. Since then, Jim has built over 1,000 bows. He takes pride in helping new bowyers get started, passing on insights and skills to the next generation and showing them how to creatively make bows more beautiful.



Hamstring Archery
PO Box 16014
Missoula, MT 59808
(406) 546-6997
remppmysterclan@gmail.com
 

 

 

 


 


Daniel Roberts

 

 

Roberts process
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Daniel Roberts of Belgrade has a resume as long and as impressive as his current client list of famous musicians. He has a unique direction and aesthetic for building guitars and mandolins by using woods chosen first for tonal excellence and visual particularity. Then each instrument is aurally and dynamically tailored to the musician's needs. Daniel shares his craft regionally, nationally, and internationally and through apprenticeships.

 

www.danielrobertsstringworks.com
90 W. Madison Ave.
Suite E - 169
Belgrade, MT 59714
(406) 431-9011

 

 

 


 

 

Diane Scalese

 

 

Scalese process
Scalese product
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Diane began engraving in 1986. She started engraving her husband's bits and spurs in the traditional western bright-cut fashion, and as demand grew, she branched out into single-point engraving, commonly called gun engraving. Diane earned FEGA Master Engraver status in the Firearms Engravers Guild of America in 2001, and she was also named Engraver of the Year in 2003 by the Academy of Western Artists. Diane is also an accomplished silversmith who builds all her own belt buckles, conchas, bridle silver, bracelets, and other jewelry pieces that she engraves.

 

PO Box 1
Big Sandy, MT 59520
(406) 378-2414
bscalese@gmail.com

 

 

 


 



Elaine Snyder

 

 

Snyder process
Snyder product
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Elaine Snyder is a custom clothier/tailor of distinctive modern or Old West style buckskin (deer) jackets and vests for men and women. For over thirty-three years, Snyder has created her own patterns by collecting books and magazines that detail Native American clothing styles, early frontier fashion and leather history. Pictures of soldiers, frontiersmen and fur traders from the 1800s hang around her studio. The result is that each piece Snyder creates is an individual. Detailing such as beads and embroidery cover imperfections in the hide as she makes her one-of-a-kind designs. Because of the time and attention that goes into each piece, Snyder’s work is beautiful wearable art.

 

www.buckskinclothier.com
540 Country Way South
Kalispell, MT 59901
(406) 250-1068
elaine-buckskin@centurytel.net

 

 

 


 


Steve Stefely

 

 

Stefely process
Stefely product
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Steve Stefely of Helena specializes in custom saddles and tack, historical reproductions, leather cases, gun leather and various other custom leather articles. With more than 40 years in the saddlery and leather trade, he has built and/or repaired everything from elephant harness and jousting saddles to equine prosthetics, dressage saddlery, high fashion cases and living history museum reproductions. While the mainstays of his shop are primarily custom saddles and repairs, the great majority of his work is done by hand, including much of the stitching, with hand-creased and burnished edges.

 

www.bisonsaddlery.com
6220 Jasper Rd.
Helena, MT 59602
(406) 449-7231
steve@bisonsaddlery.com

 

 

 


 

 

Marilyn Stevens

 

 

Stevens process
Stevens product
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When Marilyn Stephens was young, she learned that a person can do anything. As a youngster, she owned a basket in which she kept small treasures. That basket shaped her love of fiber, and she pursued basketweaving because she wanted to learn how to make a substantial and useable vessel. Marilyn’s brightly colored baskets are based on traditional wicker weaving to which she applies her self-taught basket processes and experimentations with dyes. Early on in her weaving, she taught her partner and husband how to weave baskets and they have worked together since. She demonstrates her skills both in the community and across the nation.

 

www.montanablueheron.com
PO Box 368
Trego, MT 59934
(406) 882-4352
info@montanablueheron.com 

 

 

 


 

 

Mark Tinsky

 

 

Tinsky process
Tinsky product
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Mark Tinsky from Wolf Creek started his pipe making journey in high school. Using Grecian plateau briar and over 30 years of experience, Tinsky produces pipes that the pipe world recognizes as having “remarkable quality, nish, and smoking characteristics.” His pipes have been selected for “Pipe of the Year” in a national competition and review. His work has appeared in retail catalogs, and he has been featured in national magazines, such as Pipes and Tobaccos.

 

www.amsmoke.com
PO Box 13
300 High St.
Wolf Creek, MT 59648
(406) 439-6252
mt@mt.net

 

 


 


 



Nate Wald

 

 

Wald process
Wald product
Wald art

 

 

 

Nate Wald from Lodge Grass braided his first set of reins in 1989 and has been braiding ever since. He considers himself self-taught through books and experience but is thankful for help from Ed Dubeau, Bryan Neubert, Bill Dorrance and Vince Donley. A trademark of Nate’s gear is its usability, so he pays close attention to lengths, dimensions and durability, and makes his own rawhide and cuts his own string. Nate was named “Braider of the Year” in 2007 by the Academy of Western Artists, and teaches at 4H clinics, classrooms, and workshops across the nation. In addition to his membership in the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association, Nate’s work has been included in the Trappings of Texas Show in Alpine, Texas, The Gathering of Gear Exhibit in Elko, Nevada, and the permanent collection of gear at Elko’s Western Folklife Center.

 

www.natewald.com
HC 45 Box 810
Lodge Grass, MT 59050
(406) 639-2219
rawhider@nemont.net 

 

 

 


 



Brenda Yirsa

 

 

Yirsa process
Yirsa product
Yirsa art

 

 

 

Brenda Yirsa became interested in quilt construction because of a desire to make quilts in the style of her three quilt-making grandmothers. Since then, Brenda’s work has evolved from the traditional form to an art quilt style, and she has become immersed in quiltmaking as a way to paint with fabric. Brenda continues to study quilts of the past because she believes that it is very important to have an understanding of where this art form came from and to remember past women who have created beauty with needle, thread, and fabric. She shares her expertise by teaching and showing her art.

 

www.yirsa.com
PO Box 465
Big Sandy, MT 59520
(406) 386-2283
brenda@yirsa.com



 

 

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Montana Arts Council | 830 N. Warren Street, Helena, MT 59601 | P.O. Box 202201, Helena, MT 59620-2201 | P: (406) 444-6430 | F: (406) 444-6548 | mac@mt.gov 
 


 
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