Wood-Carver Artist Matt Hey


Matt Hey's artistic talent evolved from his experience as a rancher in the Texas Hill Country. His keen observations of the ranching life naturally developed into a special talent in his wood-carving portrayals of local "characters".  Unique expressions and personality are instilled in each sculpture which is painstakingly reproduced using special cold casting techniques and individually hand painted with intricate detail


Matt Hey didn't learn the life of a cowboy from watching TV. His real-world education started when he was a young boy on the Texas Hill Country ranch his family has worked for five generations. Getting up before dawn on Saturday mornings to help his dad and grandpa round up cattle. Mending barbed-wire fences and propping up water gaps. Shoeing horses. And observing the faces of stooped, weather-beaten ranchers at the feed store and cattle auctions worrying about how they'd get by if the drought didn't break soon.

Matt left his home in Mason County to go to school and then to work. But within a few years, the land he loved lured him back. As an adult, he worked as a cowboy for a decade, until the long days and nights, aching back muscles and low cattle prices took their toll.

But Matt found another way to stay in touch with ranch life: his art. He rediscovered a talent for sculpting that had lain dormant since childhood. His woodcarvings perfectly capture the life he's known. Matt depicts the hardships and loneliness of the contemporary cowboy with honesty and sympathy in a medium which sometimes seems as unforgiving as ranching itself.

Matt Hey and President Bush

Matt's studio on the family ranch overlooks rolling hills, creeks and pastures. A single parent, he has instilled in his daughter, Chelsea, the same respect for the land that he was taught. Matt and Chelsea still run the ranch, but ranching has become a sideline. Nowadays, Matt works cattle and mends fences as a means of relief from the hours of careful attention to detail in the studio.


2007 Peters Creek Studios, L.L.C.