Saddles/Tack

Tad Mizwa: A Lasting Impression

This Mother Hubbard saddle is representative of the historical miniature reproductions that Tad made. The base price on his miniature saddles in the 1990's was $3000. By Nick Pernokas John Kelley always eagerly anticipated his monthly copy of Shop Talk! Magazine. The Morton, Illinois, leatherworker had been working with leather since he was 10. He had created beautiful knife sheaths, holsters and handbags, many featuring beautiful carving and fine hand
Harness

Celebrating 100 Years of Exceptional Harness Making

Bowman Harness is sustaining a living heritage tradition A driving horse, decked out in leather harness that features a Deep Curve Breast Collar made by Bowman Harness of Millersburg, Ohio, pulls an Amish buggy. By Lynn Ascrizzi The folks at Bowman Harness, Ltd. of Millersburg, Ohio, don’t put much credence into talking big or taking on airs — they’re too busy doing. In fact, the four-generation, collective family enterprise has
Leather

American Tanning & Leather’s Queen of Gator

The Queen of Gator, Christy Plott, 40, has definitely earned this self-appointed title by her success in the alligator leather industry. By Danna Burns-Shaw Christy Plott is part of multi-generational family leather business, American Tanning & Leather LLC. “Am Tan” is a five-generation business that is located in Griffin, Georgia, 40 miles south of Atlanta, right at the source of the finest raw material in the world, the Louisiana alligator.  
Boot/Shoe

“The Michelangelo of Cowboy Boots”

“Charlie Dunn, He’s the One to See” by Gene Fowler Photograph courtesy of The Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Photographer Jim McGuire made images of the Grand Ole Opry legends and other country-western stars, and here he shot bootmaking legend Charlie Dunn. Perched all pretty on the Colorado River, where the limestone hills of Central Texas tumble down from the west to meet the Blackland
Supplier

Montello Heel: An Industry Icon

By Liisa Andreassen Montello Heel Mfg., Inc. in Brockton, Mass. has been handcrafting custom shoe components at the same Brockton location for 110 years. In 1956 John Alden Pearson, the superintendent of the factory at the time, was able to purchase the company and it has been in his family ever since. Handcrafting custom heels and maintaining a solid foothold for more than a century, Montello Heel MFG., Inc. is
Supplier

C.S. Osborne & Co. 193 Years Strong

World-class maker of hand tools maintains success by sticking to what it does best By Lynn Ascrizzi A drop forge hammer at C.S. Osborne & Co., a manufacturer of leather, upholstery and industrial hand tools, founded in 1826. As any skilled handcrafter knows — you’re as good as your tools. After all, there’s nothing better than working with, say, a precisely sharp skiving knife whose well-formed handle doesn’t argue with
Feature

Cowboy Boot Bookman & Bon Vivant Buckaroo

The Reinventions of Tyler Beard By Gene Fowler “As a child,” wrote the late Tyler Beard in his 1999 book, Art of the Boot, “I had to be coaxed out of my Roy Rogers boots nightly.” “He loved those little boots, but that may have been one of his whoppers,” chuckles Tyler’s big sister, Debra Conkling, gently relishing her brother’s deployment of a Texan’s birthright to stretch the blanket or
Supplier

Wickett & Craig

Standing the Test of Time By Liisa Andreassen Originally started in 1867 and based in Toronto, Canada, today Wickett & Craig calls Curwensville, Pennsylvania, home – making it one of only two remaining vegetable tanneries in the U.S. Located on more than 16 acres of land, the state-of-the-art facility produces 4,500,000 square feet of both light and heavy-weight leathers annually. The former are used to craft luxury goods like shoes,
Harness

Freedman’s Family Tradition

Fine Saddles and Harness By Gene Fowler [gallery type="rectangular" ids="1046,1048,1051"] The worlds of leathercraft arts and equestrian culture are blessed with many a legacy enterprise. But few combinations of those worlds can boast a family tradition that goes back six generations and two centuries. In fact, there may be only one. David Freedman, of Freedman Harness in Toronto, traces his family business back to Warsaw, Poland. There, David’s great-great-great-grandfather, Mordechai