Magazine article Sunset

The Cowboy Comes Home

Magazine article Sunset

The Cowboy Comes Home

Article excerpt

SIX YEARS AGO, THE RANGE WAS EMPTY. Contemporary handcrafted Western-style dUoapractically didn't exist. But the rediscovery of work by 1930s craftsman Thomas Molesworth of Cody, Wyoming, in exhibitions at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody and at the Autry Museum of Westem Heritage in Los Angeles, inspired craftspeople to reconsider the romance of ranch life. Skeptics considered this a fly-by-night trend. But now the stampede is on.

Today Western fumiture builders have proved that homemade furnishings embellished with Western icons are here to stay.

"My purpose is to outfit every honky-tonk across America with my bar stool for future grandchildren to enjoy," says Arizona cowboy Ron McGee. His bar stools also fit kitchen counters, and he makes a simple, evocative armchair.

Virginia and J. Mike Patrick of New West also enjoy enormous success with their honest line of furniture, inspired by Molesworth yet clearly their own. Their designs range from a club chair covered with a shaggy buffalo hide to a bureau omamented with antler drawer pulls:

Like the Patricks, other craftspeople are adapting traditional styles to modern-day dreams. …

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