Diane Ross has been designing custom western furniture for nearly thirty years. Her work has been featured in numerous magazines and books, and is represented by galleries across the country. Every year since 1993 her work has also been juried into one of furniture making's most prestigious shows: the Western Design Conference. Her work has also been juried into the Desert Museum's Art of Western Living shows, which feature cutting edge western designs. Today she lives and works on a beautiful ranch that borders the Jefferson river, right outside Willow Creek, MT.

Born in Salt-lake City, Diane grew up in the West, spending her time outside, climbing trees and catching snakes. Early on she found she had a knack for digging deep into willow patches. Later on, when she began gathering wood for her furniture, her natural love of those hidden wild places both inspired her art and provided the raw material for it. From the faded red of old barns to the dusty ochre of coyote willows, Diane's close attention to the details of the western landscape give a sense of breathing room in her pieces that captures the nature of a land where dilapidated buildings still sit on the open range. Her work tells the story of the people who have lived on the western frontier as well. Many of her intricate willow patterns have been inspired by northern plains Native American bead work designs, or built with a cow girl's lifestyle in mind. By drawing on the land and its history, Diane has managed to create a furniture style that captures the essence of the West.

In the 70's, Diane packed up and moved to Western Montana where she lives today. At first life was rough. Between shifts of waitressing in Big Sky she sold hand knit clothing in order to raise her two sons, Jason and Simon. Then one day she ran into a copy of Mother Earth News that described how to build a bent willow chair. After selling her first few chairs to friends, she began setting them up at local fairs and galleries. She had a natural ease with tools and a talent for fitting together branches. Coupled with her life long love climbing trees, Diane was soon making enough money to help pay for college. Her workmanship progressed the way most Rustic Furniture Makers' does: by her own ingenuity. She read up on the history and traditions of folk furniture, experimented and sought out local knowledge, and after having a third son, Mackenzie, finished her degree in Range Science. By the early 1990s Diane had a garage full of tools where she worked and was having a hard time keeping up with the demand for her unique brand of Rustic Furniture. To keep up with orders, her dad Jerry Snider, a master Cabinet Maker, came to work for her. She started to dream of a big shop on her own property, where she could wake up in the morning, feed her horses, and walk to work.

Today, Diane has moved her outfit to Willow Creek Montana, one of the few remaining out-posts of the old West. By day she works in the shop, taking breaks to check on her ever growing herd of horses and the progress on the new house. There she can pause for a second to take in a little of the western range surrounding her land and breathe in that great open sky. When she finishes a piece, Diane saddles up and heads into town for a fine dinner at the only restaurant for miles, the Willow Creek Cafe. She lives the western life daily; up just after dawn pitching hay before breakfast, taking in the sunrise, then gathering the wood from which she'll make some of the best darn western furniture around today. It's this, her ability, her courage, to be a cowgirl in a modern world, which continues to inspire Diane's work, to make her one of the few furniture makers that truly knows the West.

PO Box 1
Willow Creek, Montana 59760
phone: (406) 285 6882