Artisan Saddles/Tack


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


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

Saddlemaker Ron Ross

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

Alchemy Kustom

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.

Goin’ West: The Amazing Leatherworkx of Jürgen Volbach

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 [1775] was perhaps even more so than now the Eldorado of those who felt oppressed

Elktracks to Venus:

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

Howard Knight:

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.