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
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
Artisan Saddles/Tack

Nancy Martiny: Hidden Treasure

By Nick Pernokas  If you’ve ever traveled south on the back roads of eastern Idaho, you’ve seen the dark forests and craggy mountains give way to sage brush, and then the vast plains to the south. You’ve probably noticed that it was lonesome country, the kind of country that can keep a secret. Towns with names like Custer and Bonanza were once booming towns where men coaxed hidden treasure from the ground, in the form of silver and gold. But those men, and the towns, are
Accessories Artisan

Never Too Young to Lead

By Jim Linnell  Many people may think that Elktracks Studio is synonymous with Jim Linnell, however the reality is that it takes a team of passionate leatherworkers to make it all happen. Annie Libertini has reached entirely new audiences with her additions to the instructional library. George Hurst still regularly publishes patterns on the page. Michael Magnus oversees the digital marketing efforts and his second-grade daughter, Caragh, is a contributor as well.   Caragh stamps leather
Artisan Saddles/Tack

Platte Valley Saddle Shop: The Legacy of a Rambling Saddle Maker

By Nick Pernokas The Chevy box truck labored up another hill. In 1928, some of the roads in western Nebraska were in name only. The region was not called “the Sandhills” for nothing, and Elmus Henderson hoped he would not have to pull the planks out of the back to give the tires some traction. He looked over at his assistant, who was slumped on the passenger side. Elmus knew from the man’s choice of refreshments that he probably
Accessories Artisan Leather

An Armory of Creations

By Liisa Andreassen  Ever wonder what it would feel like to be a medieval wonder woman or to walk in Aquaman’s shoes? From medieval legends and superheroes to knights in shining armor, leathercraft master Samuel Lee is helping people realize their fantasies – one leather creation at a time.    “I first became interested in making armor while I was in high school and doing live action play/ role play at Renaissance festivals,” Lee says. I created Prince Armory in 2007 to do this full time
Artisan Boot/Shoe

Motörhead and Mule Ears: The Cowboy Boot Mojo of Pascal Davayat’s Hollywood Riff Raff

by Gene Fowler Southern California bootmaker Pascal Davayat grew up in the rural Auvergne region of France, fascinated with cowboy boots and all things Wild West. “I lived on a solid diet of western movies and TV shows,” he says. Young Pascal dreamed of being a pirate or a cowboy, but yo-ho-ho-and-a-bottle-of-rum seemed unreachable, so he concentrated on the cowboy way. “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was one
Artisan Saddles/Tack

WORKING SADDLES FOR WORKING HORSEMEN

Saddlemaker Ben Geisler carries forward the Wade saddle tradition   By Lynn Ascrizzi  Resilience. A capacity to flourish. Hidden strength. Attributes like these are native to the aspen tree: a lithe, adaptable species that announces spring with flowering catkins, reclaims burned-over, scarred landscapes and, in fall, lights up hillsides with bright-gold leaves.   The tree’s hardy attributes seem to be a fitting metaphor for Aspen Saddlery of Rineyville, Kentucky, a one-man shop owned and operated with single-minded dedication by saddlemaker and leatherworker, Ben Geisler.   The majority of Geisler’s equally hardy customers are ranch cowboys and horse trainers. “I make working saddles for working horsemen. They’re almost all rough-out, Wade saddles, made flesh side-out. The thing with rough out, is that it
Artisan Supplier

Maker’s Leather Supply: New Ideas for a New Generation

By Nick Pernokas Aaron and Janie Heizer stock a very large quantity of all sorts of leather which can be purchased in small amounts. In a cynical world that has moved past Roy Rogers and John Wayne, a world where a phone has become a wallet, and kids don’t need a belt like their cowboy heroes wear anymore, you’d think that leathercraft would be a dying hobby. Fortunately that’s not
Artisan

EPIC LEATHER WORK, ON A GREEK ISLAND

Co-founders of Epos Custom Leather create powerful mythic imagery and historical recreations    By Lynn Ascrizzi If gray winter ever gets you down, think of the Greek island of Rhodes, set like a rough-cut gemstone in the sparkling Aegean. “It’s called the ‘Island of the Sun,’” said Natalie Orfanidi, a gifted leather artist born and raised in Rhodes, the fourth largest island in Greece, a place where remains of ancient city