Boot/Shoe

Lisa Sorrell

A Ladies Touch Accomplished and acclaimed bootmaker Lisa Sorrell. By Danna Burns Shaw When you visit with Lisa Sorrell you soon realize that she has a zest for learning and chooses to live a bigger and kinder life. Lisa was raised in southwest Missouri in a conservative church where the women all wore long hair and long dresses.  Her mother began teaching her to sew when she was 12 years
Boot/Shoe

“Ah, Wilderness!”

Alkahest Moccasins & Leathercrafts — custom-made goods hand-built in the wild heart of Oregon’s high alpine country Alkahest Leather founders Dustin Lyons and Tiera Ptacek at an art fair. By Lynn Ascrizzi Eight years ago, on a fine spring day, Dustin Lyons and Tiera Ptacek set out on a life-changing, 350-mile odyssey, driving from San Francisco to Ashland, Oregon, in a tiny, Chevy Geo Metro. “We had it packed with
Boot/Shoe

Sole Talk

Amara Hark-Weber’s impeccable, handmade shoes are in a class by themselves By Lynn Ascrizzi In our modern era of mass-manufactured, big-brand footwear, a person’s desire for a pair of new shoes can be quickly satisfied. Does this mean that the curtain is falling forever on the one-of-a-kind, handcrafted shoe? For an answer, take a look at the masterful, custom footwear being made, one at a time, by Amara Hark-Weber, a
Boot/Shoe

Ty May: Making up for Lost Time

By Nick Pernokas Ty's primary products are boots. When we speak of an “up and coming” artist, we usually think of a young person. That is an assumption that is not always true. Grandma Moses, for example, began her painting career at the age of 78 and became one of America’s most famous painters. Another case in point may be Sullivan, Missouri-bootmaker Ty May. At 55, Ty is really just
Boot/Shoe Saddles/Tack

A One-Man Leather Shop

Long-time leatherwork instructor, Mike DeWitt, keeps his heritage craft alive and well in Oklahoma By Lynn Ascrizzi Michael DeWitt, at the workbench in his leather workshop, with saddle trees and stirrups in the background. You never know where a passion for the age-old art of leathercraft will take you. For Michael DeWitt, owner and operator of DeWitt Custom Leatherworks, the long and winding trail that leading to his current workshop
Boot/Shoe

Laughs and Lasts at Bell Custom Made Boots

By Johnny D. Boggs Alan Bell with his 2017 Academy of Western Artists Will Rogers Bootmaker of the Year Award. Some folks might think that Alan Bell picked the wrong profession. Instead of making custom cowboy boots, which Bell has done for 40-plus years out of a one-time barbershop in Abilene, Texas, he could’ve been a stand-up comedian or a TV talk-show host. Imagine Johnny Carson (if you remember Johnny
Boot/Shoe

Third-generation bootmaker Deana McGuffin continues craft while teaching others

By Johnny D. Boggs Deana McGuffin works on a pair of boots in her shop. Custom bootmaker does not even begin to describe Deana McGuffin. Certainly, since starting an apprenticeship with her father in the early 1980s, she has been making custom cowboy boots – the past 18 years at her shop, McGuffin Custom Boots (www.McGuffinBoots.com) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Yet, she has also displayed her creations at museums across
Boot/Shoe Saddles/Tack

Jackson’s Western Store

Evolving with the Times By Liisa Andreassen Third-generation owner Charles Jackson says they sell a lot of used saddles, especially Buckaroo-type saddles. When I visited Jackson’s Western Store in Asheville, North Carolina, a few days before this past Christmas, it was a bit like visiting Santa’s workshop. Upstairs was a colorful retail shop and downstairs was the leather shop and its artisans. Whether filling a custom order for a gun
Boot/Shoe

En Pointe

The Success Story of Cardinal Shoe American manufacturer finds its niche in high-tech ballet shoes Photograph Courtesy of Eduardo Patina By Lynn Ascrizzi In an on-stage solo, principal ballerina,Michaela DePrince, flies like a bright-feathered, gravity-defying bird, her arms stretched wing-like above her head and her expressive face turned upward, as if  searching for a distant star. What is easily missed in that ecstatic moment, which took DePrince years of professional