Perfect day in this part of the country. Nice and quiet, just the way I like it. Working on a simple little project for an old friend over in Arizona that needed some latigo string for some saddle and chap repair. Don’t get me wrong–challenging and complicated is always welcome, but simple is a nice change of pace.
It’s a nice break from just doing gunleather. Mix things up a little, so to speak. I do have a bunch of holsters I’ll be working on this week. If you’re in the market, or just curious, feel free to stop back by–I’ll have pictures of the process as they progress. As long as I don’t forget to drag out the camera.
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.
I suppose I should confess my guilt. Not only do I spend the majority of my time making stuff, I also spend a huge number of hours watching other people make stuff. I’ve always been fascinated with useful products painstakingly created by hand, one at a time.
Watching widgets banged out by the thousands using machinery never held much appeal.
In my little world, my canvas is most often leather. But, many times it’s a camera, a Wacom tablet and stylus, software and other “techie” stuff. However, with the abundance of learning material available on YouTube, via Google, millions of assorted videos and images, websites, etc., there’s never a shortage of things to learn. More often, it’s a shortage of time.
A couple weeks ago I read the book “Steal Like An Artist,” by a guy named Austin Kleon. It’s a pretty funny book, but it also rings with truth. I was compelled to subscribe to his newsletter, and that weekly e-mail triggered whatever brain cells came up with the idea for this post. I didn’t actually steal anything. (The photo below is a screenshot).
Personally, I like to think I don’t copy anybody, or God forbid–steal. But, I learn from everybody. Just a few of my influences would be California saddlemaker Jeremiah Watt, Idaho artist and saddlemaker Cary Schwarz, Colorado saddlemaker and leather master Jesse W. Smith, Dusty Johnson, and easily a thousand others. If you can find them on the Leatherworker.net Forum, they’re an influence for me.
Just in the gunleather genre I’d have to mention Matt Del Fatti up in Northern Wisconsin, Milt Sparks Holsters in Boise, Idaho, and Tucker Gunleather over in Houston, Texas. That’s just three, but be assured I’ve forgotten to list a hundred others.
Here’s an article by Casey Lesser I read this morning on Artsy.net.
Here’s some links to the folks mentioned earlier if you’d like to go over and take a look. All artists in their own right, and influential on me and many, many others. If leather is something you’re interested in looking into, and trying your hand with, there is no better resource than LeatherWorker.net .
I’ve heard it said, “there’s a method to the madness.” Seems appropriate.
It’s been a busy month around here so far, and I’m thankful for it. If you’ve been here before, you’ve likely noticed a lot of changes. We’re experimenting with “website themes.” You may have also noticed that when it comes to technology, I really don’t know what the hell I’m doing.
That hasn’t slowed me down.
Most of what’s posted around here is gunleather in some shape or form. Today, there are a few holsters, quite a few belts, and a couple of workbench and machinery photos. Fact is, gunleather’s just a small part of what I do. It’s fun, and I enjoy it–I carry every day, so it’s near & dear you might say.
Among other things, I also make a little rodeo gear, a lot of livestock, pet and cowboy gear, and there’s a few saddles in various stages of progress. There’s always something “underway.” That could mean anything from just-started to damn-near done. As I figure things out, I’ll post it, or list it, and if you like it, we can make it possible for you to own it.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll make it a regular visit.
I’ve shared this before, a while back. Just came across it again, and thought I’d share it…again.
Back in May of 1980 I was living in Spokane, Washington. Two things are always at the forefront of my memory of that time. Mount St. Helens blowing her top, and hanging out at Jesse W Smith‘s saddle shop. Jesse built the first bronc saddle I ever owned. He took a Raymond Hulin bareback riggin’ as a down-payment on it, and financed the rest.
Jesse’s a cool dude. Always has been. American military Veteran, teacher, artist. Fact is, in our business he’s a legend. He doesn’t know it, and he’d probably think I was addled for saying it, but it’s true. A quiet, humble, American treasure.
Thank you for the friendship Jesse. Thank you for letting an 18-year old, wanna be bronc rider hang around your shop back in the day. And, thank you for the trust.