Accessories Leather

TRY AND BREAK IT!

Y-Knot Lace is built on kangaroo leather’s tensile strength  By Lynn Ascrizzi  Y-Knot Lace is a small business owned and operated by Barb Sorenson, in Kalispell, Montana. She runs the enterprise singlehandedly from the home she shares with her husband, JR Sorenson, a long-haul truck driver. There, in an office space set up in a spare room, she sells her company’s main product — fine kangaroo leather lace.   “I get my lace from Australia — all kangaroo leather,” she said, of the premium product sold in 54-yard spools and 12-yard hanks. “I also sell ‘yarders’ for $1 — 2-to-3 feet of various colored lace. I usually offer these at
Accessories Artisan Leather

Jesse Beckham and the Lost Penguin

 By Nick Pernokas  Jesse Beckham sports a cool Western look that would remind you of the Texas Red Dirt Music scene that’s so popular in the Southwest. The “Open Road” hat that he wears is a tribute to his grandfather’s choice of headwear, but also a nod to his Texas heritage. Like the products he makes, it says that this is what he came from, but not where he’s going.  “I haven’t been a cowboy since I was about 12 years old,” laughs Jesse.  Jesse grew up in
Accessories Harness

NEW LIFE FOR THE WORN AND BROKEN

Missouri leatherworker’s one-man, tack repair shop is keeping him busier than ever   By Lynn Ascrizzi  Each day, when Bruce Martin greets the sunrise in rural Hartsburg, Missouri, his first chore is to head out to the barn to feed his team of Haflingers, Jim and Bud. Then, he walks back to the home he shares with his wife, Judy, to have breakfast.   Later, at around 8 a.m., Monday through Saturday, you’ll find him working at Show-Me Harness Shop, his tack repair business located only 25 feet from his residence. There, in a well-equipped 900-square-foot workspace, which occupies part of a larger building, he keeps more than busy until about 7 p.m., restoring, rebuilding and refurbishing Western and English saddles, harness and other tack.  “There is more saddle
Accessories Leather

Satchel Page: Classic Forties Stylings for Modern Tech

by Gene Fowler There’s something about a vintage leather item. If it was well made with a fine grade of leather, a bag or jacket, a saddle or pair of boots can take on a sort of resonance. It speaks of the past. Its appearance comforts and soothes. And when the item was carried or worn by one’s family member in a world now gone, the leather’s quiet power and
Accessories

MAINE THREAD: 55 YEARS OF WINDING ’ROUND THE WORLD

U.S. company’s high-tenacity, waxed polyester thread for hand sewing is standing the test of time.  By Lynn Ascrizzi  The historic Pepperell Mill, situated along the Androscoggin River in Lewiston, Maine, is a monumental testimony to America’s bustling 19th century manufacturing era. Built in 1876, the brick behemoth first functioned as a bleachery and dye works for the city’s booming textile mills.   But after WWI, mill towns like Lewiston began to decline. Hydroelectricity replaced waterpower and businesses moved
Accessories Leather Saddles/Tack

Albright Halters Never Out of Style

      By Nick Pernokas  It’s been said that class and quality never go out of style. Nowhere in the equine industry is this demonstrated more than with the halter. In a world where saddle styles have change dramatically in the last century and a half, the halter has only changed a little. Every horse wears one, and although the materials have evolved in a lot of cases, the basic design hasn’t. In Ocala, Florida, a small company is doing a great business making the same classic halter
Accessories

Listening to Leather

Bee Natural Leathercare®  by Gene Fowler  Listen up now.  “Wisdom,” one Mark Twain once reportedly proclaimed, “is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would rather have been talking.” “When you talk,” counsels the Dalai Lama, “you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” Will Rogers was proverbially a little blunter, though no less insightful, with his take on
Accessories Artisan Saddles/Tack

Al Gould – Innovative Master Saddlemaker and Leather Craftsman

By Susan Ditz  Al Gould is an inveterate doodler.   His multifaceted, complex drawings are sketched repeatedly as he works through a design to refine the patterns and elements that make each one so distinctive. Whether for a saddle, briefcase, purse, chinks, photo album or guitar strap, design innovations and meticulous attention to detail are why he is considered one of the country’s master custom saddlemakers and premier leather artists.  Born and raised in Clovis,
Accessories Artisan Holster

George Cubic: Tinkering with Leather as Art

By Nick Pernokas  Sometimes, no matter how hard we plan and pursue our chosen course, fate steps in to change our path. In the case of George Cubic, this persistent course correction created a talented craftsman.  George was born in Eastern Europe in 1956. His father, Viktor, immigrated with his family to the United States a couple of years later. Viktor loved to tinker with things and get them working. He instilled that talent in his son.  George was raised in southern California. The closest that he got to
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