Accessories Artisan Saddles/Tack

DND Leather – Where Beauty and Function Come Together

by Liisa Andreassen  When the colts she was riding started breaking her stuff, Dee Dee McGraw took matters into her own hands. She knew that making her own repairs would save her money, but what she didn’t know was that it would eventually lead to a full-time gig. She started out doing patch and repair work, and her mom quickly recognized how much she enjoyed it and offered to buy her a whole hide. That was just the beginning. Not too long after, Dee Dee stopped into Tandy Leather in Montgomery, Alabama, to buy some fancier
Accessories Artisan

AN ULTRA-LUXURY, HAND-ASSEMBLED ALLIGATOR HIDE NICHE

Part-time leatherworker, Lucas Coffield, creates sophisticated, small accessories in Palm Beach, Florida  By Lynn Ascrizzi  Ten years ago, Lucas Coffield was studying environmental marine policy at the University of Miami. For fun, and to try something new, he elected to take a course in glassblowing. He happily discovered that putting together materials and tools to handcraft items from hot glass, produced a marvelous therapeutic effect.  “I enjoyed the stress reliever aspect of glassblowing. I missed it when I got out of school,” he recalled. He graduated from the university in 2014, with a major in marine affairs. But it didn’t take him long to find another equally challenging and exciting handicraft — leatherworking.   “I’ve always had a
Artisan Boot/Shoe

Mercedes Boot Company: A Legacy of Horsemen

By Nick Pernokas  You probably noticed those old boots over in the corner. Leaning up against that canvas suitcase like an old dog begging for one more road trip. Orange tops. Black bottoms. Yeah, I know, not to everybody’s taste. They suit mine though and fit just as well. They should, because they are the only pair of custom boots I’ve ever had made. In 25 years, they’ve literally traveled around the world. From the subways
Artisan Leather

Reflections of Friendship

Robb Barr’s contributions to the leather industry live on in his work   By George Hurst   In over five decades of working within the leather industry, I have had the privilege of knowing and working alongside many of those regarded as legends of the craft: Al Stohlman, Lou Roth, Robb Barr and more. Each of these historical figures have made lasting contributions to our industry that you can still see present in the most
Artisan Leather

Twenty-three Plus Is a Twenty-five! 23+

Joe Meling’s Pendleton Leather Arts and Education Outpost By Gene Fowler Location, location, location. Ordinarily, that overwrought marketing mantra doesn’t apply to most custom leatherwork outfits. Find a spot with internet and mail-order access, and you’re in business. But 23+ (Twenty-three Plus), the leather arts and education emporium operated by Joe Meling in Pendleton, Oregon, has what has to be considered a perfect location. “I can look out my front
Artisan Feature Saddles/Tack

Buster Welch: The Man and the Saddle

By Nick Pernokas  King Ranch’s Peppy San Badger and Buster Welch cutting on some cattle at Norias Division, King Ranch. Tommy and I had roped the night before in Abilene. Now, over breakfast, Tommy said, “Let’s go see Buster.” That was one of those statements that a horseman can only say yes to and after we paid the tab, we loaded up and headed west towards the tiny town of Merkel, Texas. On a dusty road outside of town, we pulled
Artisan Boot/Shoe

Oklahoma Boot Maker Finds Solace in Leather

by Liisa Andreassen  When Dan Hickman couldn’t find the right boots to fit his feet, he decided to take matters into his own hands – quite literally – and has been making boots since 1975. Bootmaking was not really a job for him; it was more of a calling. He’d meet with other bootmakers while he traveled the country during his 37-year career with the railroad. Today, he reflects on his past, present and future.   Nurturing a passion  
Artisan Saddles/Tack

Steve Mason: High Quality in High River

By Nick Pernokas  The sweeping Alberta plains epitomize the West. As you travel the lonely roads east of the Rockies in this vast country, you feel that you could be in the background of a Charlie Russell painting. You wonder about the people who settled this beautiful country. You might stop in a little town south of Calgary to stretch your legs or get some gas. If that town is High
Accessories Artisan

Jenn Hall: The Feathered Leopard

By Nick Pernokas  Where does art come from? That is a question that has been debated for centuries. One thing for sure is that it’s persistent and it will eventually surface. For Sacramento native Jenn Hall, it could have been foreshadowed by the beautiful artwork and jewelry that her grandparents collected from the Native American reservations near their Tucson home. It could have been predicted by Jenn’s burning desire to paint as a child. But life got