was fortunate to train in the last of Calgary's pioneer saddleries.
Working with a crew of ten to twelve saddlemakers, strapworkers
and stampers provided valuable experience in the use of hand tools,
shop procedures and the mechanics of saddlemaking.
Further training in a succession of southern Alberta saddleries
culminated in the opening of his own shop in 1968.
Building on a strong sense of tradition and a deep commitment
to fine craftsmanship, Stormes has developed an enviable word-of-mouth
reputation. His forty six years in the trade have resulted in
an unmistakable personal style that clearly reflects many influences.
Early California saddleries, particularly Loomis and Visalia,
along with contemporary craftsmen such as the late Don King and
Ray Holes have been continuing sources of inspiration.
Today, from a new shop next to the home he shares with his wife,
Heather, at the edge of Southern Alberta's foothills, Stormes'
saddles, built on trees of his own manufacture, continue to speak
eloquently for the superior bloodlines of the old California vaquero
This deep respect for the traditions of the trade has led him
to a broad understanding not only of historical saddles and their
makers, but also of the tack and trappings that evolved with them.
Stormes has been a consultant to several private and public collections
in Canada and the United States and continues to lecture on the
history of the tools of the cowboy trade.
His saddles have been on view at every major North American exhibition
of western crafts, and, in 1998, he was the first recipient of
the City of Calgary's Silver Spur Award for his dedication to
the preservation of western culture. Also in 1998, he received
the Will Rogers Award from the Academy of Western Artists in Ft
Worth, Texas. In 2005, Stormes was granted the honourary title
of Associate Curator by Calgary's Glenbow Museum.
Stormes is a founding member and past President of the Traditional
Cowboy Arts Association, a non-profit organization founded in
1998 to preserve and promote fine western craftsmanship.
have been displayed at the following galleries and museums:
West Gallery - Laguna Beach, CA
Big Horn Gallery - Cody, WY
Lisbeth Kyle Gallery - Los Olivos, CA
California Cowboy Show - Carmel Valley, CA
The Vaquero Show - Los Alamos, CA
Coconino Center for the Arts - Flagstaff, AZ
World Championship Snaffle Bit Futurity - Reno,
Western Folklife Center - Elko, NV
Triangle Gallery - Calgary, AB
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
- Oklahoma City, OK
Cowboy Artists of America Museum - Kerrville,
Museum of the Big Bend - Alpine, TX
Eiteljorg Museum - Indianapolis, IN