Artisan Feature Saddles/Tack

Buster Welch: The Man and the Saddle

By Nick Pernokas  King Ranch’s Peppy San Badger and Buster Welch cutting on some cattle at Norias Division, King Ranch. Tommy and I had roped the night before in Abilene. Now, over breakfast, Tommy said, “Let’s go see Buster.” That was one of those statements that a horseman can only say yes to and after we paid the tab, we loaded up and headed west towards the tiny town of Merkel, Texas. On a dusty road outside of town, we pulled
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 Holster

George Cubic: Tinkering with Leather as Art

By Nick Pernokas  Sometimes, no matter how hard we plan and pursue our chosen course, fate steps in to change our path. In the case of George Cubic, this persistent course correction created a talented craftsman.  George was born in Eastern Europe in 1956. His father, Viktor, immigrated with his family to the United States a couple of years later. Viktor loved to tinker with things and get them working. He instilled that talent in his son.  George was raised in southern California. The closest that he got to
Accessories Leather

Durb’s – One-of-a-Kind Leanderthal Leather

Maverick Matt Durbin by Gene Fowler  “I don’t like things that look all cookie-cutter,” says Matt Durbin, when asked how he got interested in working with leather. “I always hated it when somebody had on the same clothes I did. Even in high school, when I worked at Cavendar’s Western Wear, I didn’t like it when a guy walked in one day wearing the same shirt I had on. I always wanted to
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

Zoé Rios: Bespoke Shoemaker

by Gene Fowler  “And so that’s when I became the annoying English lady,” says Austin, Texas shoemaker Zoé Rios with a chuckle. A native of Windsor, the town on the Thames where the British royal family’s castle was built in the 11th century, the distinctly unannoying Rios was explaining how she came to be a “self-appointed” apprentice to cowboy bootmaker Greg Carmack at the Uptmor Saddle Shop, located in the Brazos River town of Waco, Texas.  “I studied
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,
Accessories Artisan Leather

An Armory of Creations

By Liisa Andreassen  Ever wonder what it would feel like to be a medieval wonder woman or to walk in Aquaman’s shoes? From medieval legends and superheroes to knights in shining armor, leathercraft master Samuel Lee is helping people realize their fantasies – one leather creation at a time.    “I first became interested in making armor while I was in high school and doing live action play/ role play at Renaissance festivals,” Lee says. I created Prince Armory in 2007 to do this full time
Artisan Boot/Shoe

Motörhead and Mule Ears: The Cowboy Boot Mojo of Pascal Davayat’s Hollywood Riff Raff

by Gene Fowler Southern California bootmaker Pascal Davayat grew up in the rural Auvergne region of France, fascinated with cowboy boots and all things Wild West. “I lived on a solid diet of western movies and TV shows,” he says. Young Pascal dreamed of being a pirate or a cowboy, but yo-ho-ho-and-a-bottle-of-rum seemed unreachable, so he concentrated on the cowboy way. “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was one