“Braided Forever” by Drew Kasunic Western Realism drawn in Pencil.
My picture “Braided Forever” represents the craftsmanship of the American cowboy. These hobbles are braided from rawhide. There are many times that re-purposing isn’t just a hobby but a lifestyle. In the western world ranches and cowboys will use old truck axles for gate hinges. Tires for feeders and head catches for calves at branding. I have been amazed more then once by the creativity and western ingenuity that’s been displayed by cowboys.
Cowboys being one of the the ORIGINAL re-purposers have used the materials around them to make and create since their beginning. I has intrigued me on how the west was built. It took elbow grease, determination and rawhide to pave the road to Western civilization. The west was created without nylons or plastics.
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These braided horse hide hobbles caught my eye not only in the exquisite craftsmanship of braiding and dying but also in a traditional aspect of being made from one horse to hold another.The amount of preparation that goes into this one set is amazing. The hide need to be near perfectly skinned with out knife nicks.Then the hide needs to be stretched,scraped of hair and treated.(if desired) Then cut into strips from one inch to a eighth inch.( more or less depending on the braider) Then braided over a raw hide core or one similar. There is so much PATIENCE in rawhide braiding, its a great spouse builder for the single guys.
I named this piece ” Braided Forever” for a few reasons. I wanted” Braided Forever” to be symbolic of the traditional aspect in western culture. In this almost lost art carried on from generation to generation, it still is alive among western traditionalist today. I think that as long as there is open pastures and cows to move, there will always be someone braiding and crafting out of rawhide. My goal is to one day follow in these footsteps and create my own ropes and tools of the trade like the Cowboys did before me.