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
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
Why You Should Care By Nick Pernokas Recently I sat down with some of the officers, and long time members, of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association. We discussed the state of the high-end, high-quality western industry, and some of the problems that many of us face. I think you’ll be interested in what they had to say about how they can help you. Pull up a chair, grab a cup
Sixty Years of Leather at the Crossroads of America By Gene Fowler "I clean up good," jokes Ron, describing this photo. Since 1977, Ron and his family have lived north of Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he has raised Belgians, Quarter horses, goats, and sheep and made saddles and other leather goods. This past February—on the 18th, to be exact—All-Around Top Hand Leather Artist Ron Ross of St. Joe, Indiana, celebrated
A Supernatural Natural By Gene Fowler Natural talent has a knack for finding its way to the gallery or stage, especially when it operates in Shakespeare’s context of “all the world.” Many, if not most, of the leathercraft artists I’ve spoken with began drawing or practicing some other form of the visual arts in their youth. It was kind of like breathing for them; it was something they just did.
By Liisa Andreassen It all started when James (Jimmy) Acord met a guy in a band who had a cool-looking belt pouch made out of an old Western boot. Acord figured he had some boots, so why not try to make his own? And, so it began. With a background in welding, he knew how to create needed tools, so he made a pouch with a thread and a big
By Gene Fowler Pioneer German immigrants contributed greatly to the settlement of frontier America. Tales and legends of the Wild West enchanted many Germans who remained in the Old World. Even the great Deutsch writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832), considered making the voyage – writing later in life, “America at that time  was perhaps even more so than now the Eldorado of those who felt oppressed
Jim Linnell's Leather Art By Gene Fowler [gallery ids="1097,1094,1092" type="rectangular"] Jim Linnell still remembers when the perception of fine leather first wafted across his senses and stirred his imagination. “I grew up on a ranch in Montana,” he says. “Once a month or so, we’d make the hundred-mile round trip into the nearest town, Miles City. Going to town was a major event and we’d often stop by Miles City
The King of Detail By Danna Burns-Shaw Few leather artisans have the attention to detail like Howard Knight; his diversity in style leaves one mesmerized in amazement. Howard creates works of fine art in his small leather shop, which is adjacent to his home in the beautiful, mountain community of Stevensville, Montana. Howard and his wife, Amy, moved to Montana from Northern California, after Amy retired as a nurse practitioner.