TUCUMCARI, NM (KFDA) - An Associate of Applied Science Degree in Cowboy Arts and Western Silversmithing and Fabrication was created after the evolution of certified programs at Mesalands Community College.
The new program provides students with practical skills to pursue careers as welders, engravers, metal workers and jewelers. Students will learn about metal inert gas welding, tungsten inert gas welding, shielded metal arc welding and gas welding.
The program will also teach students about the background to western culture.
“[It] teaches students about western arts. Western culture is part of that and it ties back to history in that sense as well,” said President of Mesalands Community College Dr. John D. Groesbeck.
This hands-on program will give students the opportunity to create a variety of western inspired products including jewelry, belt buckles, bits, and spurs.
“I don’t think it gets any more hands-on than being here," said Mesalands Community College Sophomore Wyatt Bishop. "The shop is full of thousands of dollars of equipment that the students are supplied with, and then we build everything start to finish, 100 percent from raw steel to a finished product.”
Sophomore Wyatt Bishop has created many custom pieces in the program that he sells on Facebook.
“Most of our students put themselves through school making stuff as they go," said Cowboy Arts Program Lead Instructor Eddy Mardis. "And so, they make bits and spurs and bracelets and all kinds of jewelry. But it’s the skills that we teach them to make the bits and spurs that they really walk away here with.”
“So with what I’ve learned here and with the money that I’ve made here after paying for college with this program, I am starting to build my own shop where this is something that I could do for the rest of my life,” said Bishop.
Enrollment for the spring 2019 semester begins on January 10 and classes are set to begin on January 14.
You can find more information on Mesaland Community College’s website.