Artisan Boot/Shoe

Randy Moe: A Season for Boot Making

 By Nick Pernokas  Moe’s Custom Boots in Beggs, Oklahoma, is one of those ephemeral dreams that’s always been there, yet seems to be a more recent fixture. That’s the way dreams work sometimes.  Randy Moe’s family had a few horses and cattle on their Oregon acreage. Although it wasn’t large enough to be considered a cow outfit, it was enough to stoke a young cowboy’s dreams.   “I can’t remember not having horses,” says Randy.  Randy had a normal childhood, but a fight when he was 12 cost
Accessories

Wayne Jueschke: Tools to Last

By Nick Pernokas When you roll across Interstate 80 in Nevada, you pass through a vast swath of the American West. You might appreciate the emptiness of the country. You might wonder how it felt to cross this land on horseback a century and a half ago. Elko, Nevada, has been here since before the highway was thought of. A railroad town, a mining town and home to the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, this town has always been an
Boot/Shoe

Beaverhead County’s Double-Barreled Bootmakers

Schwarz & Schwarz in Dillon, Montana  There’s gold in them thar boots  by Gene Fowler  When you get a pair made at Schwarz Custom Boots in Dillon, Montana, you not only get a great pair of boots, you also get a handy twofer. Bootmaker Dan Schwarz tackles the lower part of the boot build, where the hide meets the road, while his wife, Julia, handles the artistic stuff up top. Working
Accessories

Lost Dutchman Leather – A Young Entrepreneur Strikes Gold

by Liisa Andreassen  Inspired by the legend of the Lost Dutchman mines in Mesa, Arizona, Nate Walker, founder of Lost Dutchman Leather, named his burgeoning business after this mysterious locale located in the Superstition Mountains. About 15 minutes from his workshop, rumor has it that a man named Joseph Waltz hid a large amount of gold somewhere in the area. People search for it every year and while they may not find hidden treasure, they will find a leather craftsman worth his
Artisan Saddles/Tack

TRAILBLAZING HIS WAY TO MASTERY

Jeremiah Watt’s state-of-the-art custom saddles and other handmade equine products set a high standard for the industry.  By Lynn Ascrizzi  No matter how brilliant one’s horse, the journey to attain artistic mastery inevitably takes the rider on a rocky, demanding and twisting trail.   For first-class artisan Jeremiah Watt, that arduous yet rewarding road to perfect his saddlemaking art began about 50 years ago in Dryden, Ontario, Canada, where he was raised.   Colleen and Jeremiah Watt of Coalinga, California, and their daughter Nevada Miller, of Frenchglen, Oregon, when Jeremiah was giving a
Accessories

EMBODYING THE SPIRIT OF EXPLORATION AND FREEDOM

Western Bound Goods has emerged as a thriving business in Bozeman, Montana.   By Lynn Ascrizzi  Anyone lucky enough to live close to an awesome mountain range must soon feel its lofty vibes rubbing off on their soul. After all, mountains set our sights beyond the mundane, help us to find strength in creative independence and even inspire us to embrace a more upbeat lifestyle.   This seems to be the happy frame of mind enjoyed by artist-craftsperson Jill Johnson, who singlehandedly owns and operates her studio workshop, Western Bound Goods, in the popular mountain town of Bozeman, Montana.   Jill Johnson, owner and operator of Western Bound Goods, displays a creative cluster of  her casual handbags made of waxed cotton, leather and bold Pendleton fabrics. She designs and creates
Artisan Saddles/Tack

Nancy Martiny: Hidden Treasure

By Nick Pernokas  If you’ve ever traveled south on the back roads of eastern Idaho, you’ve seen the dark forests and craggy mountains give way to sage brush, and then the vast plains to the south. You’ve probably noticed that it was lonesome country, the kind of country that can keep a secret. Towns with names like Custer and Bonanza were once booming towns where men coaxed hidden treasure from the ground, in the form of silver and gold. But those men, and the towns, are
Saddles/Tack

Saddle Maker Wilford Lewis: The Long Haul in His Own Words

By Nick Pernokas  Sometimes the dust of history covers up some pretty good stories. Sometimes it takes a cold West Texas wind to blow some of it away, so you know where to start digging. The wind was blowing that day in 2002, when I pulled off Highway 67 just outside of Brownwood, Texas. I was looking for a man who was a link between the cowboy saddles of yesteryear, and the modern performance saddle.
Boot/Shoe

The Cowboy Boot Destiny of Texan Mark Candela

by Gene Fowler Mark Candela makes custom cowboy boots in a turn-of-the-century farmhouse near Columbus, Texas.  Ever since I was a little bitty kid,” says Texas bootmaker Mark Candela, “I’ve loved anything western.” Having recently notched his 59th year wherever he notches ‘em, the Houston native grew up in an era when Hollywood westerns ruled the TV waves and the silver screen. “I had a Hopalong Cassidy watch,” he adds,
Artisan Saddles/Tack

WORKING SADDLES FOR WORKING HORSEMEN

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