May 10, 2023
When you roll up to Scott Hardy’s property, you are instantly met with the feeling of ‘Alberta’. Rolling foothills, nostalgic horses walking through a field, some cattle cuddling near a fence. If you are thinking ranch vibes, you wouldn’t be corrected.
So in meeting Hardy, you are in no way surprised that he is, with no shortage of proof, a cowboy. You can see it in his face. He has grown up in the landscape of ‘boots and buckles’ - as he put it - and that fact embraces him like a pair of rodeo gloves wrapped around the reins of a bronco. His craft has the full force of that identity, but with a finesse and attention to detail that would surprise you from someone who is a fifth-generation stockman. Hardy’s work is intricate, timeless and very beautiful.
Hardy is a Western silver-and-goldsmith: “Most of what I create is for a horse or for a person involved with a horse."
He finds his expertise in working with silver and gold in three different classical styles on a multitude of different pieces. Hardy draws from the landscape that envelopes his workshop, and embellishes with personal studies in architecture, nature, and movement. From bridle wear for a horse to a flask for your saddle bag, his work has a deep quality that is hard to find elsewhere.
Hardy said he started out with the classics - belt buckles and tack pieces - but then his curiosity forced him to branch out. When you gaze around his studio, your eyes might land on a silver vase or even a child’s dinner set, all of which is nestled among pictures of horses and casually placed cowboy hats. Many know him for the jewellery he creates, collectors seek out his work for their personal displays, and he even has work in museums across North America.
“If I create a brand buckle for somebody, let's say, and they wear it their entire lives, male or female, this stuff doesn't wear out. So maybe they wear it 50 or 60 years and they pass it down to their son or daughter, and they pass it down to their son or daughter.”
Just as his upbringing instilled the values of multigenerational ranching, he flavours his work with an appreciation for legacy. “If you design it right and if you create it right, if you make it not gimmicky but timeless with quality and good design, then 200 years later somebody can be using that [piece]," said Hardy. “It becomes a point of pride.”
Each piece is a representation of hours of work, tedious engraving and overlaying in a hand-crafted way that is built to not only last, but also be loved.
The notion that a buckle or flask could be handed down through the generations is the motivating factor to creating beautiful work that breathes life into his heirlooms. “That's a weight to carry, you know, and not a bad weight. It's a good weight so when you work, it just makes you pay attention.”
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Bluerock Gallery Inc. acknowledges the land in which it is is situated on as the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.