Accessories Leather

TRY AND BREAK IT!

Y-Knot Lace is built on kangaroo leather’s tensile strength  By Lynn Ascrizzi  Y-Knot Lace is a small business owned and operated by Barb Sorenson, in Kalispell, Montana. She runs the enterprise singlehandedly from the home she shares with her husband, JR Sorenson, a long-haul truck driver. There, in an office space set up in a spare room, she sells her company’s main product — fine kangaroo leather lace.   “I get my lace from Australia — all kangaroo leather,” she said, of the premium product sold in 54-yard spools and 12-yard hanks. “I also sell ‘yarders’ for $1 — 2-to-3 feet of various colored lace. I usually offer these at
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
Accessories Leather

Satchel Page: Classic Forties Stylings for Modern Tech

by Gene Fowler There’s something about a vintage leather item. If it was well made with a fine grade of leather, a bag or jacket, a saddle or pair of boots can take on a sort of resonance. It speaks of the past. Its appearance comforts and soothes. And when the item was carried or worn by one’s family member in a world now gone, the leather’s quiet power and
Accessories Leather Saddles/Tack

Albright Halters Never Out of Style

      By Nick Pernokas  It’s been said that class and quality never go out of style. Nowhere in the equine industry is this demonstrated more than with the halter. In a world where saddle styles have change dramatically in the last century and a half, the halter has only changed a little. Every horse wears one, and although the materials have evolved in a lot of cases, the basic design hasn’t. In Ocala, Florida, a small company is doing a great business making the same classic halter
Leather Saddles/Tack

Texas Legend S. D. Myres

Tio Sam the Saddle Man  by Gene Fowler  Pancho Villa was a man of many horses. Many horses and many saddles…. So many saddles that it seems like the story of every saddlemaker who was active back in Villa’s day includes the claim that they made a custom saddle for the notorious Mexican revolutionary. If you read enough about the West, you’ll often get the impression that everyone this side of the Mississippi rode with
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 Leather

American Bench Craft: Built for Any Frontier

by Gene Fowler  Necessity, some wise personage once ventured, is the mother of invention. No one knows for certain who first spoke (or wrote) these words, though some attribute the phrase to Plato. It doesn’t matter, really, whether the stone-chiseled maxim was voiced by the Athenian philosopher or by George Washington or…Groucho Marx. It hangs in there. It endures. And after talking to dozens of makers all over the country who found their
Accessories Leather Supplier

PERGAMENA Makers of Artisanal Parchment and Leather

Targeted marketing and a tan-and-return service are promising game changers for family run, New York tannery  By Lynn Ascrizzi  Tucked into the picturesque Hudson River Valley region in New York state is the small town of Montgomery. Its lush, natural beauty, cultural festivities, historic homes, antique shops and sustainably-raised local food, attract a growing surge of folks seeking to escape Manhattan for a genteel, countryside experience.  And, the town is only an hour-and-a-half drive from the Big Apple.   “It’s a hip little place. Lots of people are moving up. Add the pandemic to that, and people want to get the hell out of Dodge,” said Jesse Meyer, 48, owner and general manager of the five-generation, family-run tannery, Pergamena Parchment &