Artisan Boot/Shoe

Tim Bishop: Just What He Wants to Do 

By Nick Pernokas Tim Bishop was raised in the small, eastern New Mexico town of Logan. Tim’s high school had only 13 in his graduating class. In this rural ranching community, there were only a few choices in lifestyle for a teenager. Tim chose the most attractive one to him which was the western one.   “Everybody wore boots,” Tim remembers fondly.  Tim’s dad retired from the military in Logan and
Artisan Boot/Shoe

Boots from Harlick & Co

A Skater's Dream  by Gene Fowler  Figure skating legend Brian Boitano, who won a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics, still has the first pair of skates he got at the age of nine. Why hang on to something you outgrew an eon and a half ago? Simple. Boitano's childhood winter-sport boots aren't just any old slapped-together slabs of hide. They're Harlicks.  Generations of amazing skaters have acquired the leather
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