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Cary Schwarz

Cary Schwarz first began working with leather in 1972. Growing up on the family farm in a German Lutheran community in Idaho proved to be fertile soil for creativity, adventure, and learning. In the late 1970′s he worked for wages in a holster shop in Twin Falls. This experience reinforced his belief in taking the time to get the job done right. In the early 1980′s he attended a trade school for saddlemaking taught by Jesse Smith in Spokane, Washington. Since then, Schwarz has diligently studied saddlemaking while continuing to polish his artistic talent. He also credits Ray Holes Saddle Company, Dale Harwood and Chuck Stormes, as having a great influence on his development as a saddlemaker. Often, what he’s learned has not been so much a certain technique, but a way of thinking.

Schwarz has noted that the folks doing great work have successfully sorted out the attitudes that free artisans to be creative and produce the work. Schwarz says that “I believe the best saddles are those that successfully blend function and art.”

Whether packing salt, doctoring cattle, managing the grass on the family ranch or designing a new flower for a carving pattern on a saddle, his versatility is apparent. He maintains no file of standard flower stamping: each saddle is assigned something new.

Schwarz finds great value in returning to the basics, revisiting the fertile ground of the past, remembering the God who makes up who we are, honoring traditions, and keeping function paramount in his work. Fundamental, as well, is his family life, wife Rose, three children Sara, T.J., and Sadie, all of whom add an important measure of balance and vitality to his vocation. He makes his home in the mountains of Idaho near the town of Salmon.
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