Idaho – The Idaho Commission on the Arts has awarded five master artists and their qualified apprentices $3,000 each as part of the annual Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program. The program is designed to facilitate learning partnerships between a recognized master artist and an apprentice to continue artistic traditions in a shared community. The 2019 TAAP grants awardees include: master Dave Alderson and apprentice Jock Brown for Silversmithing; master Mike Bernhard and apprentice Hans Hansen for Saddle Making; master Doug Koontz and apprentice Taylor Anderson for Saddle Making; master Jan Porvas and apprentice Marty Johncox for Iranian Percussion (Daf); and master Seth Teichert and apprentice Natalie Teichert, for Cowboy Boot Making.

For 25 years, the Arts Commission has safeguarded Idaho’s unique cultural legacy with more than 360 Idaho native, folk, and immigrant master artists, and their apprentices, who carry on Idaho’s artistic and occupational traditions and skills. The Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program supports master artists to teach their skills and knowledge to motivated learners in order to perpetuate a valued community tradition. Managed by Folk and Traditional Arts Director Steven Hatcher, the program provides direct funding to master practitioners to enhance and elevate skills and preserve cultural continuity in occupational, ethnic, or familial communities.

SILVERSMITHING Dave Alderson (Twin Falls), Jock Brown (Bellevue)

“My history or experience with this art form dates back to 1970 when I was competing in rodeos and I admired the silver work and engraving on spurs and bits. My experience with this art form dates back to 1987 when I attended a bit and spur making course put on by Elmer Miller, a well-known bit and spur maker. Since then, I have been trying to learn all I can about the silversmith craft. I will always share what knowledge I have with other people who are trying to learn. I know from personal experience how difficult it can be to obtain this knowledge.”– Jock Brown

SADDLE MAKING Mike Bernhard (Emmett), Hans Hansen (Melba)

“I have a long history with the ranching community. I grew up with a ranching background; I’ve worked on several ranches in my life in Idaho and Montana. I currently work in the industry (as) a farrier for 21 years. I work starting and training horses and do day work on many ranches in the area. I have long had an interest in building saddles but have never had the opportunity due to the busy schedule of raising five children and working two jobs. My goal through this project is to complete a traditional Wade style saddle. In doing this, I hope to build the basic skills needed to continue in the art of saddle making. – Hans Hansen

SADDLE MAKING Doug Koontz (Buhl), Taylor Anderson (Rogerson)

“Saddle making is not an easy art; it takes patience, perseverance, and a special hunger to always make yourself better. I was taught by Pedro Pedrini in 1998, who is an outstanding saddle maker and leather craftsman. There are several people in our community who practice the same art, not many that build a lot of cow horse saddles such as myself. My particular style, you could say, would be a primary focus on function, quality, and maximizing the performance of horse and rider, while using the highest quality in materials and tools to do so.” – Doug Koontz

IRANIAN PERCUSSION (DAF) Jan Porvas (Boise), Marty Johncox (Boise)

“I was born into a family of musicians in the city of Tabriz, one of Iran’s premier cultural centers. I was interested in music when I was 7 years-old and started to learn and play the nagara, a traditional Azerbaijani rhythmic instrument. My brother-in-law, Cavit Mrtezaoglu, was a master of music and I started to learn from him a lot of things about music. He was my music teacher until coming to the U.S. In 2006, I got married to Tovas. After one year in Iran we moved to Turkey and started to learn how to play tanbur and daf. Part of the job of any professional musician is to teach others so they can pass on the traditions to others by performance, collaboration, and teaching.” – Jan Porvas

COWBOY BOOT MAKING Seth & Natalie Teichert (Mackay)

“As a fifth generation cattle rancher, cowboy boots are integral to my way of life. We use them for riding horses and working outdoors. They are utilitarian, should be built to last, and (are) comfortable. When they also have style and personality is when you know you have a great pair of boots. A lot of trial and error and hours in the shop and I’ve been happy with the progress I’ve made and the boots I make. Since I am the only boot maker around, I have built a lot of boots for the working cowboys in this valley. That’s what I like to do the most: build a boot that will be worn and used and hold up to the abuse that any rancher can put them through.” – Seth Teichert


The Idaho Commission on the Arts, a state agency under the Office of the Governor, enables access to the arts, arts education, and Idahoans’ cultural and artistic heritage.


PO Box 83720, Boise, Idaho 83720 // (208) 334-2119 //