A Longview silversmith is making his mark in the art world.

Scott Hardy take his inspiration from the the culture of the North American west, foothills, ranching, cowboys and anything to do with that lifestyle since that's where his grandparents and great grandparents started out many years ago.

"Most people don't realize the cowboy culture, how special it is and how unique it is and how revered it is all over the world, it's kind of ignored most places in Canada but it's definitely a special culture, one we should all be very proud of. When you look at the history of Alberta, especially this part of Alberta, how the cattle came from the south and you get to the 1870's and basically the grass in Wyoming and Montana was grazed off and that's when they started bringing cattle up here, it was like the oil boom of the time"

He started out making a living shoeing horses and working as a cowboy when he heard an evening class was being offered at what was then called Mount Royal College.

"You've got to understand, this was almost 45 years ago, so I took that night course for ten weeks, three nights a week for ten weeks, and that's where I got started and from there it's been a lot of learning on my own and perseverance and away we go, I've been full time now for 40 years," said Hardy. "I do everything by hand so a piece can take, what I consider a quick piece would be 15 to 20 hours, a lot of the pieces that you see that I have on display in Oklahoma there, some are up to 600 hours. They're all precious metals and they're all one of one, so there's no duplications, there's no castings so when you have that piece it's yours and that's the only one in existence."

This large three-piece buckle set went for $8,500. Photo: Scott Hardy)

He's been able to sell his work all over the world, selling personally in Germany and he's had his work on display in South Korea through the Alberta Craft Council, but about 80 per cent of his works go to the U.S. with the remainder staying in Canada.

Earlier this month he sold a number of pieces at the 22nd Annual Traditional Cowboy Arts Exhibition and Sale at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

He says it aims to feature the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association which Hardy helped establish in 1998.

"You have to be voted into the group and apart from this Exhibition and Sale that happens once a year, this was actually our 22nd, we do a full education program to inspire and teach both craftspeople and collectors across the world."

Unsold pieces are still available until Jan. 2, 2022.


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