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Gary Wiggins

Birth place or City of origin:
State of origin:
Last known City: Brewster
Last known State: KS
Start/Birth date:
Death/End date:

Gary started building bits and spurs in the mid 1990s while he worked for a rancher around Castle Rock, Colorado. He worked in the shop in the evenings, and ‘making gear’ quickly became a passion. Using the Indian jewelry skills that his father taught him, Gary soon became interested in applying silver and engraving.

While attending classes put on by the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA), he was fortunate enough to get acquainted with several of its members. Sharing ideas and time spent with good friends Russell Yates and Kevin Peebler, Gary has found himself splitting time between good, cowboy, using gear, and stepping outside the lines and mixing Texas style with California style. Gary has also had the pleasure to build several pieces for J. Martin Basinger.

Gary and his wife and partner, Cynthia, work as a team with her keeping the books, cutting silver, and polishing, while he is busy expanding his engraving talents. Gary is a student of the trade and his pieces are highly sought after by cowboys and collectors all over the United States.

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Gary Wiggins started building bits and spurs in the mid 90s while he worked for a rancher around the Castle Rock, Colorado area.

Gary worked in the shop in the evenings, and ‘making gear’ quickly became a passion. After getting a few pair of spurs made, he started tinkering with applying silver. Using some of the skills learned from his dad (a silversmith), Gary started mixing cowboy style in, and soon became interested in engraving. Starting with a small hammer and a 20-penny nail, he began watching engraving videos and asking questions of anybody that he would run across. Gary got acquainted with Pat Vaughn at some horse sales in Colorado and that is when things really started to click. Soon thereafter he sold everything he made, but still wanted to advance his engraving.

While attending classes put on by the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association, he was fortunate enough to meet and get acquainted with several of its members. Time spent visiting with Ron Smith as well as studying his book has been motivating and inspirational. Sharing ideas and learning from good friends, like Russell Yates and Kevin Peebler, Gary has found himself splitting his time between good, cowboy, using gear, and stepping outside the lines and mixing Texas style with California style.

In 1996, Gary met Cynthia who became his wife and partner, an accomplished rider herself; she was interested in handmade equipment. By 1998 they went off of the ranches payroll, took in some cows on a lease, bought some cows of their own and began to make gear full-time. Cynthia helps in the shop with the bookwork, cutting out silver, soldering, polishing, and any other jobs that may need done. They make quite a few trophy buckles and conchos, and saddle and bridle hardware as well.

In 2005 Cynthia and Gary left Colorado, took their cows and bought a place near Brewster, KS in the northwestern part of the state. Gary likes to compete in ranch roping on occasion; they both share a philosophy of good horsemanship and quiet cow work, and day work when schedule permits.

When Gary started building gear, his dad told him to let his work speak for itself. Today, Gary is very flattered by some of the people that he calls friends and customers that use his work, but insists on continuing to let his work speak for itself. He enjoys the challenge of continuing to learn about and refine his trade, and hopes to never stop learning.

 

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