Artisan Boot/Shoe

Run and Hide Leather to a Whole ‘Nother Level

‘Cowboy Booties’ Ascending  by Gene Fowler  Shoe and bootmaker Murphy Thiel of Run and Hide Leather in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, knows a thing or two about taking it to the next level. She moved back to the Eastern Seaboard just recently after an intense, two-year apprenticeship with bootmaker Deana McGuffin in Albuquerque, New Mexico. But at age 30, her personal journey to leatherwork goes much further back and includes a number of
Accessories Artisan

Willique Luxury Handbags – Globally Inspired

by Liisa Andreassen  It was while studying business abroad in London that Anya Pratt, a Bahamas native, first developed her love for luxury handbags. While wandering the streets of this cosmopolitan city, she’d explore the high-end shops and admire the craftmanship and attention to detail that went into creating such beautiful sights. She had friends who worked in the fashion industry as influencers and they served to further nurture her passion. When one friend gave her the book, “Fifty Bags that
Artisan Boot/Shoe

Abilene, Abilene, Prettiest Boots That I’ve Ever Seen…

Leddy’s Cowboy Boot Legacy by Gene Fowler “Legacy” is one of those words that when you look it up in the dictionary, the definition you get is underwhelming. “Something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor from the past.” Really? Come on, Webster! Get with it! It’s so much more than that. At its best, a legacy is a living entity. A force of nature. A jolt of ancestral
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
Artisan Boot/Shoe Leather

Pablo’s Way: The Story of Pablo Jass

By Edward Loya  Shortly before his retirement, Ray Jones told reporters that custom western bootmaking was a vanishing art. Ray said none of his apprentices were ready to take his place because they had not yet mastered every step of bootmaking. As Pablo Jass—Ray’s best known and most accomplished apprentice—approaches his 50th year in the business, we know that Ray’s prediction missed the mark. But what does this tell us about Pablo Jass?   Like his mentor,
Artisan Leather Saddles/Tack

Pete Gorrell Building A Balanced Staircase

                     By Nick Pernokas  The young boy was happy to get off the bus in Kelly, Wyoming. The trip from Rock Springs was beautiful, especially for a boy from the Midwest, but it had followed a long train ride from Chicago and he was tired of sitting. He craned his neck, trying to take in the horse pastures, the log cabins and the Tetons. It all looked like a set from one of the matinees that he would watch on Saturday afternoons at home. The cowboy, Ben, who greeted
Artisan Boot/Shoe Leather

RESTARTING A SHOE COMPANY

MaineSole is redefining its products and marketing goals after COVID setback  By LYNN ASCRIZZI  For almost four years, a small shoe factory called MaineSole has been making handsewn, all-leather shoes in an old woolen mill, a massive brick structure built in 1835, situated along the East Branch of the Sebasticook River that winds its way through Dexter, Maine.     MaineSole was launched in the spring of 2017 by its owner-operator, Kevin Cain. “When the shoe factory opportunity came along in Dexter, I was planning to be one of the investors and its marketing-sales person,” he said. “I knew nothing about manufacturing shoes. I never made a pair of shoes!”    He
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
Artisan Boot/Shoe

Veteran Bootmaker Says Air Force Affected Bootmaking Career

Liisa Andreassen  It happened when he was 11. Brian Thomas walked into his local shoe repair and leather store and was quickly seduced by the sultry smell that lingered in the air. He just knew he had to find a way to be around it and he did. In fact, he’s made a lifelong passion of it with no signs of slowing down.  From the ground up  As a kid growing up in southern California in the early 1970s, Thomas took his first