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Saddle stuff, gunleather, and semi-unplugged.

It’s finally cooled off around here and I’ve knocked the dust off a couple of saddle trees.  The gunleather keeps me busy, and as always, thank you to all of my holster and gunbelt customers.

As most of you know, I stopped accepting advance orders about a year ago.  It gives me the opportunity to make the stuff I want to, without the stress of a backlog.  It’s funny how that works–something will “click” with folks, and you get buried in orders for it.  I think you have to have a personality for the “always booked” lifestyle.  It just doesn’t suit me.

I’ll be working on more gear for the 1911, and continue to dress ’em up with florals, oak leaves and acorns.  Probably throw some basket stamping in there.

When I have products available, I’ll be posting them here with the handy little “Buy Now” button.  It’s a win-win…I don’t have a waiting list, and you don’t have a wait.

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Bob Klenda. Colorado leatherworker and saddlemaker.

I’ve never met Mr. Bob Klenda, but over the years I have become well aware of who he is, and I’ve also got several of his patterns, and we’ve talked on the phone.

A two word description?  Nice guy.

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“I wish I had his job. He’s living my dream.”

Gibson, leather, floral, carving, practice, pieces, stamping, carving, leatherwork, leathercraft, work, craft
Practice pieces. Carving and stamping flowers, vines and leaves.

An old friend of mine said that to my wife a few years ago.  He was a lawyer, and had been for many years.  He passed away a while back, far too young, and I was just thinking about him, and what he’d said to her about this “job” of mine.

I love what I do.  Most of the time.  I suppose most folks that have chased a dream, do.  I worked in the legal field for many years, but for me, it was like trying to nail Jello to a tree.  Constant stress, and no sense of worthy accomplishment.  Even good outcomes were intangible, and rarely, if ever, good for both sides.  I don’t miss it.

With this gig, it’s different.  It’s not all wonder and awe–it has its moments.  But, even when it’s bad, it’s awful damn good.


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Wordsmith. I like the portrait that paints.

Wordsmith.  Word-smith.  Defined, it’s “a skilled user of words.”

I just think it has a really cool ring to it.  Wordsmith.

There’s a visual it brings to mind–that of a pair of hands, working at something.  Molding, shaping, carving.  Chips of wood landing on the ground, or the floor.   Sparks flying from the hammer of a blacksmith.  The ringing of hammer on anvil.

For me, it’s cool to make stuff.  To take raw materials in hand, and visualize a finished product.  In my case, it’s often a side of leather produced by other hands from a cow, steer, or bull.  To cut it, shape it, glue it, form, mold (mould), sew and finish.  In my world, leather is the canvas.  Every piece is different.  I kinda love that.

I look at words the same way.  God knows there’s an overwhelming assortment to choose from.

Leather, words, and guns.  I get to play with all three.  Words are the trickiest–the least predictable.  I’m careful with all three, but pay particular attention to the words.  Guns are simple, not unlike hammers, screwdrivers, or any other tool.  Leather presents its challenges, but most of the time it yields to my will.  Words?  Not so much.

I’ll keep playing with words.  With leather.  With guns.  It’s what I do.  What I’m about.

Life is good.

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Making changes. Working on the website.

LicenseAttribution Some rights reserved by billjacobus1

Good Sunday morning!  It’s the last day of what’s been a happy, busy, January.  I thought I’d get in here and make some changes to the website.

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I changed domains and internet service providers last year after many years with my previous provider.  The learning curve’s been pretty steep.

When I started “making things” way back in 1986, it was bullropes for bullriders, and other assorted cowboy gear.  My primary focus was rodeo, and the bullriding event.  That transitioned into leather, and gunleather.  Orders were taken by phone, and payments were made by check or money order via the US Postal Service.

My, how things have changed.  Today, it’s PayPal via the website or electronic mail.  Questions and answers are electronically volleyed back and forth with photos and measurements. Friendships develop without ever meeting.

What hasn’t changed is the handcrafting.  The hours in the shop with the coffee pot constantly burping and recharging.  Sides of leather, spools of thread, finicky machinery, and watching the sunrise through the shop windows.

Sunrise at the shop.

 What’s not to love?

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Backlogs, or lead-times…the dreaded wait.

Gibson natural oil belt slide. 15-degree rake for Glock 19, 23 or 32. $125.00 plus shipping.

My backlog is currently 3 weeks…leaning hard on 4.  It’s one news report hype-story away from 6 or 8 weeks.  The “wait-time” is probably the biggest downside.  Not just for you–I’m not a fan either.

In a land of epidemic obesity, bad health, bad news, zombies with Smartphones, GMO’s, HMO’s, endless political manure and instant gratification, patience is at a premium.  Or, is it nonexistent?

Waiting sucks.  Making you wait–well that sucks, too.