Tom Howe – Silversmith Interview

Tom Howe

Website & places you can find my work online

Where I am
Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I was born and raised in rual Ontario, just north of the Lake Ontario near Hamilton just west of Tornoto, a place called Carlisle.

I am a welder by trade and I always had a love for horses and when I was younger I rode Rodeo some. It took me all across the country and as far away as Texas. When I was home I went to local horse shows to sell my bits and spurs.

How did you learn the techniques you use to combine art with your metalworks?
When I was first asked to put silver on a bit I had some idea of the way to good about it but I enrolled in a part time study course at the local college and was able to get the proper knowledge to finish the job.

Belt Buckle

Did the horses or the art come first?
The horses came first.

You work a wide variety of mediums, from jewelry to bits to belt buckles, which one do you enjoy the most?
I like belt buckles the most.

Aside from your website, where can people see your work in person?
I do have a couple of stores that sell my bits for me,The Hat Lady, C and C Tack Shop, Uncle Bob`s Tack Room and Nymeyer`s at Tanglewood.


Who are your main artistic influences?
I don`t rally have any.

Who (or what) is the muse behind your work?
I guess being the youngest of 3 brothers I aways wanted to be different.


Do you have any secret rituals you do to help you get in the zone for your work?
If I told you they wouldn`t be secret anymore.

What effect do you think the Internet will have on handmade jewelry?
Well when I first started and put up a site it was great, people were looking and calling all the time. Now what has been happening is that I am getting off shore companies calling me and wanting me to submit designs for them to make my products for me. I have also had a company in the US actually copy a piece and is having it made in China.

Horse Bit

Has it had an effect on yours?
It has made really hard as I am loosing business.

Which one is your personal favorite piece?
I don`t really have a personal favorite, but I did make my father a couple of things and now that he has passed away you could say they are my favorite.

Would you ever sell it?
Belt Buckles

What else are you passionate about?

Working on anything new?
Not anything for the horse industry but have had the opp to do some work for the custom motor bike industry.

Spur Rowels

More to Come

Thanks to Tom for answering the interview and sharing his work. Be sure to check out his silversmith site periodically for updates about his latest work.

Also stay tuned for more interviews with horse artists and photographers.
Are you a horse artist or do you know an equine artist you’d like to see featured? Add your name and website in the comments below or drop me a note to get involved.

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