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Western Wood Sculpture - Tools of the Trade - Darwin Dower

“Tools of the Trade” – SOLD

In a Cowboys life, a good custom made saddle was a must. Equally important however was a well made bridle, saddle bags and a stout rope.

All were tools of his trade.

The bags and bridle run the gamut from highly ornate with silver and brass conchos and buckles to absolutely plain. Their design was strictly the preference of the rider.

Braiding, twisting and tying were each a step in making working ropes, hackamores, reins, bags and more.

The creak of the leather on a cold morning was music to their ears, as they began each new day, the same as the ones past, herding and rounding up the strays on the long cattle drives.

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“Tools of the Trade” is SOLD.

“Cherished Memories of Grandma”- AVAILABLE

Wearing a house coat an apron and lace up black shoes, Grandma could melt my soul with her smile.

She baked, she mended and she cleaned. But, oh how she loved to read and visit with friends. She read at least a book a week…mysteries or a love story were her favorite.

With old fashioned ways, her books, a gold watch and a candle stick telephone, Grandma could always be found at her desk in the corner of the kitchen while the aroma of freshly baked bread filled the air.

Oh my, those cherished memories.

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“Takin’ a Break”- SOLD

On the old time cattle drives, the camp “Cookie” was sometimes an aging cowboy hired for his ability to drive a wagon more than his cooking skills. He was in charge of the wagon, and everything related to it. The camp depended greatly on him, especially his ability to brew a good pot of coffee.

Cowboy coffee and a good book (for those cowhands who knew how to read some) has been a staple of the old west since those days of the long cattle drives.

“Takin’ a Break” is a depiction of a cowboy taking a break from long, hard hours in the saddle. It is sculpted entirely from Tupelo wood, then meticulously painted with artists’ oil to capture the wear and tear of long days on the trail.



“Grandpa’s Bible”- SOLD

One of the fondest memories of frontier times was Saturday night. The animals were fed, chores were done, supper dishes were washed and the old “Potbelly” stove had a roaring fire.

Grandpa took the family bible from the shelf, donned his glasses, and lit a candle. His pocket watch was placed nearby as a timer for the “Bible Hour.” No one was allowed to talk…just listen! And it lasted exactly 1 hour…not a minute less. (That is unless Grandpa fell asleep while he was reading.)

Grandpa’s gone now, but I often reflect on those times the family put aside all else, to learn of the things contained in that old black leather book.



“Scattered Remnants”- SOLD

The life of a cowboy on the trail was rough and monotonous. He often rode in the saddle 12 hours a day, and had to make do with what he could carry with him.

At day’s end, he secured the horses by the light of a lantern, then rested by a warm camp fire and a hot pot of coffee until his assigned watch.



“Missing You”- SOLD

“Missing You” is a depiction of someone who has just found her old autograph book. After examining the words written on its pages, she reflects on fond memories of a past time. . .

“My how this old autograph book brings back memories; such good friends who are impossible to forget. Katie my dear, as I read your written words, I realize how much I’ve missed you. We shared so much laughter, so many secrets and tears. I remember out last goodbye, and how we hugged before parting. We vowed to be friends forever, sharing our dreams as we walked through life. It’s sad how we’ve lost contact, without intending to. Even though we are far apart now, those memories are still in my heart.

I’m growing old, and realize things must change, but they don’t have to end. You’ll always be my dear friend, and I’m missing you. Let’s catch up on those precious moments we’ve missed.”



“School Days”- SOLD

Who was the boy who sat here, who is now someone’s grandpa? School Days of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s were a time when pigtails found their way into inkwells and little boys made friends with toads. Desks were hooked together in long rows, and the students were usually seated alternately… a boy and then a girl. This kept the students from talking so much.

This sculpture tells of a young boy as seen through his school desk. We see his faded school books. On top “Appletons 4th reader”, a book used at the turn of the century. Pages are well warn from years of use. A report card is barely visible, perhaps he has stepped away to talk to the teacher, because his frog waits for him at the desk. The toad is a “Bufonidae-boreas” (Western Toad) found mainly in dryer climates of the Rocky Mt. and Southwest states.

Did he carve the initials in the desk or was it an earlier romance. Ironically, the artist sat in this type of desk in the 1st through 4th grade. He remembers there were usually names carved in the desk top from previous years students.

This piece evokes the nostalgia of the meager, early American class room and the life of frontier school days.



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