Artisan Leather

Twenty-three Plus Is a Twenty-five! 23+

Joe Meling’s Pendleton Leather Arts and Education Outpost By Gene Fowler Location, location, location. Ordinarily, that overwrought marketing mantra doesn’t apply to most custom leatherwork outfits. Find a spot with internet and mail-order access, and you’re in business. But 23+ (Twenty-three Plus), the leather arts and education emporium operated by Joe Meling in Pendleton, Oregon, has what has to be considered a perfect location. “I can look out my front
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 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
Boot/Shoe

Ray Jones: Texas’s Greatest Bootmaker?

By Edward Loya  In the late 1970s, there was a growing consensus in Texas that Ray Jones just might be the best bootmaker in the state, if not the country. So, when Ray abruptly announced his retirement in 1977 at age 65, he shocked his clients and the entire bootmaking community. Every major newspaper in Texas covered the story because it was unthinkable that an artisan of such extraordinary talent and
Supplier

Keystone Leather and RJF Leather: Service That’s a Cut Above

Keystone has the capability to cut soles on demand. By Nick Pernokas It seems like Dave Schall, the president and co-owner of Keystone Leather in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, was always destined to fill this role. Now 58, Dave Schall finished college in 1982 and went to work for the E.H. Hall Company, which was a sole cutting company in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. They had 15 full time cutters. In 1990, E.H. Hall,
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.  
Leather

Tennessee Tanning Company: Staying Ahead of the Ball

Terry Kennemer, MLB Production Manager and Tennessee Tanning Wet Floor Supervisor By Nick Pernokas Terry Kennemer would remind you of a chef. He can talk about intricate recipes and what they produce off the top of his head. Like many good chefs, he won’t tell you all of the ingredients. However, it’s not a gourmet meal that he’s enthusiastically describing, but rather a signature piece of leather. Terry is the