Oregon Folklife Network
 

Pat Horlacher

2016-2016 TAAP AWARDEE

Traditional Skill/Art Craft: Silversmithing

Apprentice: Tyler McNabb

Describe your traditional skill/craft/art, when and why it is done, and your history with it.

I am a traditional western silversmith. I take raw materials; I form, solder and take the piece through each stage to the finished engraved product. This tradition began with just basic practicality. Cowboys needed bits, spurs and a buckle to hold up their pants! They started out very utilitarian in nature and like the progression of most necessities folks wanted bigger and better. Growing up my dad was very into the cowboy life. To supplement his income he bought and sold everything from collectable cowboy gear to the everyday working stuff and from his love of gear stemmed my interest in silver.

How and from whom was the tradition learned?

I got my start from John Hyde of Yamsi Silver and Leather in Chiloquin, OR. I was down shoeing horses for them and he asked if I’d like to try my hand at engraving and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Why is this cultural tradition important to your community?

It’s important to me because it reflects the nature of what I’m surrounded by. The landscape is a huge inspiration for my engraving. And like most buckaroos, I want to have high quality gear that reflects the country we live in.

Artist Biography

Pat Horlacher is a traditional Western Silversmith, using raw materials to make a variety of beautiful silver objects. Originally hailing from Eastern Washington, grew up wanting to be a cowboy, influenced by his father’s love of the cowboy life. Pat moved to Oregon in 2002, after graduating from the Farrier program at Walla Wall Community College, and began to live the cowboy lifestyle he always wanted. It was as a farrier that Pat met John Hyde of Yamsi Silver and Leather, from whom he learned the art of silversmithing and engraving. Since learning the art in 2008, Pat has had great success in the field of silversmithing, such as the Western Folklife Center purchasing a silver headstall he made for their permanent collection or having been chosen to participate in the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association’s Emerging Artist Competition. In his own words, “The landscape is a huge inspiration for my engraving. And I, like most buckaroos, I want to have high quality gear that reflects the country we live in.”

Experience/Honors

January 2011-Received a Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA) scholarship

January 2014-Made a silver headstall for Expressing the Rural West-Into the Future. Hosted by the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada. The Western Folklife Center purchased the piece for their permanent collection.

February 2015-Selected by a panel of judges to participate in the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association Emerging Artist Competition