Accessories Leather

American Bench Craft: Built for Any Frontier

by Gene Fowler  Necessity, some wise personage once ventured, is the mother of invention. No one knows for certain who first spoke (or wrote) these words, though some attribute the phrase to Plato. It doesn’t matter, really, whether the stone-chiseled maxim was voiced by the Athenian philosopher or by George Washington or…Groucho Marx. It hangs in there. It endures. And after talking to dozens of makers all over the country who found their
Accessories Leather Supplier

PERGAMENA Makers of Artisanal Parchment and Leather

Targeted marketing and a tan-and-return service are promising game changers for family run, New York tannery  By Lynn Ascrizzi  Tucked into the picturesque Hudson River Valley region in New York state is the small town of Montgomery. Its lush, natural beauty, cultural festivities, historic homes, antique shops and sustainably-raised local food, attract a growing surge of folks seeking to escape Manhattan for a genteel, countryside experience.  And, the town is only an hour-and-a-half drive from the Big Apple.   “It’s a hip little place. Lots of people are moving up. Add the pandemic to that, and people want to get the hell out of Dodge,” said Jesse Meyer, 48, owner and general manager of the five-generation, family-run tannery, Pergamena Parchment &
Artisan Boot/Shoe

Randy Moe: A Season for Boot Making

 By Nick Pernokas  Moe’s Custom Boots in Beggs, Oklahoma, is one of those ephemeral dreams that’s always been there, yet seems to be a more recent fixture. That’s the way dreams work sometimes.  Randy Moe’s family had a few horses and cattle on their Oregon acreage. Although it wasn’t large enough to be considered a cow outfit, it was enough to stoke a young cowboy’s dreams.   “I can’t remember not having horses,” says Randy.  Randy had a normal childhood, but a fight when he was 12 cost
Accessories Leather

Durb’s – One-of-a-Kind Leanderthal Leather

Maverick Matt Durbin by Gene Fowler  “I don’t like things that look all cookie-cutter,” says Matt Durbin, when asked how he got interested in working with leather. “I always hated it when somebody had on the same clothes I did. Even in high school, when I worked at Cavendar’s Western Wear, I didn’t like it when a guy walked in one day wearing the same shirt I had on. I always wanted to
Accessories

Wayne Jueschke: Tools to Last

By Nick Pernokas When you roll across Interstate 80 in Nevada, you pass through a vast swath of the American West. You might appreciate the emptiness of the country. You might wonder how it felt to cross this land on horseback a century and a half ago. Elko, Nevada, has been here since before the highway was thought of. A railroad town, a mining town and home to the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, this town has always been an
Boot/Shoe

Beaverhead County’s Double-Barreled Bootmakers

Schwarz & Schwarz in Dillon, Montana  There’s gold in them thar boots  by Gene Fowler  When you get a pair made at Schwarz Custom Boots in Dillon, Montana, you not only get a great pair of boots, you also get a handy twofer. Bootmaker Dan Schwarz tackles the lower part of the boot build, where the hide meets the road, while his wife, Julia, handles the artistic stuff up top. Working
Accessories

Lost Dutchman Leather – A Young Entrepreneur Strikes Gold

by Liisa Andreassen  Inspired by the legend of the Lost Dutchman mines in Mesa, Arizona, Nate Walker, founder of Lost Dutchman Leather, named his burgeoning business after this mysterious locale located in the Superstition Mountains. About 15 minutes from his workshop, rumor has it that a man named Joseph Waltz hid a large amount of gold somewhere in the area. People search for it every year and while they may not find hidden treasure, they will find a leather craftsman worth his
Artisan Saddles/Tack

TRAILBLAZING HIS WAY TO MASTERY

Jeremiah Watt’s state-of-the-art custom saddles and other handmade equine products set a high standard for the industry.  By Lynn Ascrizzi  No matter how brilliant one’s horse, the journey to attain artistic mastery inevitably takes the rider on a rocky, demanding and twisting trail.   For first-class artisan Jeremiah Watt, that arduous yet rewarding road to perfect his saddlemaking art began about 50 years ago in Dryden, Ontario, Canada, where he was raised.   Colleen and Jeremiah Watt of Coalinga, California, and their daughter Nevada Miller, of Frenchglen, Oregon, when Jeremiah was giving a
Boot/Shoe

Zoé Rios: Bespoke Shoemaker

by Gene Fowler  “And so that’s when I became the annoying English lady,” says Austin, Texas shoemaker Zoé Rios with a chuckle. A native of Windsor, the town on the Thames where the British royal family’s castle was built in the 11th century, the distinctly unannoying Rios was explaining how she came to be a “self-appointed” apprentice to cowboy bootmaker Greg Carmack at the Uptmor Saddle Shop, located in the Brazos River town of Waco, Texas.  “I studied
Accessories

EMBODYING THE SPIRIT OF EXPLORATION AND FREEDOM

Western Bound Goods has emerged as a thriving business in Bozeman, Montana.   By Lynn Ascrizzi  Anyone lucky enough to live close to an awesome mountain range must soon feel its lofty vibes rubbing off on their soul. After all, mountains set our sights beyond the mundane, help us to find strength in creative independence and even inspire us to embrace a more upbeat lifestyle.   This seems to be the happy frame of mind enjoyed by artist-craftsperson Jill Johnson, who singlehandedly owns and operates her studio workshop, Western Bound Goods, in the popular mountain town of Bozeman, Montana.   Jill Johnson, owner and operator of Western Bound Goods, displays a creative cluster of  her casual handbags made of waxed cotton, leather and bold Pendleton fabrics. She designs and creates