Cowgirl Spring Roundup
2018 Honoree, Cowgirl Hall of Fame
In 1986, Diane Scalese and her husband started Sweetwater Silver in Montana and began making spurs, bridle bits and other silver gear. With an interest in hand engraving, she began practicing and then searching for mentors, but with little luck—partly because she was female. Undeterred, Scalese went on to become a master engraver, earning the title of Engraver of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists in 2003. Though she employs a Western bright cut engraving style, she adds techniques such as bulino, flare cut and firearms engraving styles for a result that is both traditional and fresh.
Scalese served on the board of the Firearms Engravers Guild of America and was selected by the Montana Arts Council to be a member of the Montana Circle of American Masters. She holds master engraver status in both the American Custom Gunmakers Guild and the Firearms Engravers Guild of America. Her work has appeared in books and has also been exhibited in art shows and museums throughout North America. Scalese is determined to open the field to anyone who wants to learn and teaches classes all over the world, including Belgium, Denmark Germany and Italy.