Julie has been building custom leather goods for 38 years. She attended school at Spokane Falls Community College under Jesse Smith, her career in the field began in Laramie, Wyoming at The Boardwalk working for Rob Vogel. Her specialty lies with Chinks, Chaps, Rodeo Queen Chaps, Roughstock Chaps & Armitas. She owns and runs a Leather working school in Ellensburg, Washington. Her love of people and teaching has led her to offer beginner & advanced classes in her classroom in Ellensburg, WA. Keep an eye out as she will begin offering video classes online! Live, private and videos to purchase! www.jbldleatherschool.com
Jerry has based his business and life out of Blackfoot, Idaho for more than a decade. Before Jerry’s love of fishing and the West brought him to Idaho, Jerry has lived many different lives. Nearly all his ventures have involved leatherwork, from Mexico to Japan with many stops in between. The only exception may have been his service as second class savage diver in the Navy in the late 1970—80’s. VanAmburg Leathers Japan, which includes a full-product line & jewelry, is celebrating its 28th year. As the founder, Jerry has naturally spent extensive time teaching & touring in Japan. Jerry is passionate about his work and creating with leather. Because of this, Jerry is adamant about sharing knowledge, kindness & generosity with all the kids he meets. Nearly every child who meets Jerry at a trade show will go home with lasting memories, new information about exotic skins and probably some free leather for inspiration. www.vanamburgleathers.com
Braydan Shaw is the 6th generation owner and president of Burns since 1876, a 143-year-old same-family western retail and manufacturing company. He oversees all divisions of the company which includes Burns Management Services, Burns Saddlery, Burns Custom Hats, Sunset Trails Silver, Burns Boots, three retail locations, and Shop Talk! Magazine, his favorite being the hat company. He comes from a long line of hard-working, creative craftsmen so I guess you could say entrepreneurship is in his blood. www.burns1876.com
Julie Pierce has been sewing by hand for as long as she can remember and on a machine since a 1970 home economics class. In the years since, Julie has made everything from bridal gowns to rodeo royalty wear. Julie first began making leather clothing in 2009, when she completed a leather jacket to wear at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Currently, Julie operates JJ Pierce Co. in Lewiston, Idaho, making bespoke leather garments.
Gordon Andrus is an artist, craftsman, and author. Gordon has been working leather since the mid-1970's when his grandmother, Vera Rees Tippetts, sent him home with a handful of tools that had belonged to Vaughn Tippetts, his grandfather. He studied art and design at Utah State University earning a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in 1986. He then earned a Master of Fine Art degree from Alfred University in Alfred, New York in 1990. He has been working in his own saddlery, Sage Creek Stock Saddle Co., for the past sixteen years.
Gordon credits noted Utah horseman Bud Hendrickson for giving him a start with horses. "Bud trained horses for many disciplines, and I'm very grateful for the hours I was able to spend with him in my youth."
Gordon spent 12 years working with draft and saddle horses in the 1990's and early 2000's. He managed the carriage horse operation at Greenfield Village, an outdoor historic park established by Henry Ford, before relocating with his family to Cody, Wyoming in 2002 where he set up shop full time in his own saddle shop. The business moved in 2011 to Summit County, Utah, where Gordon can be closer to his parents and other family.
“Artistry is vital to any creative endeavor. As a saddler I strive to achieve as high a level of artistry in my craftsmanship as I can. It is quite a juggling act, making a living and keeping artistry at the front, but I think it is worth it. I love making things that are useful and feel blessed to be working at something every day that I want to do.”
Nevada Miller is a engraver and maker from Southeastern Oregon who’s spilts time between her silver shop and running the family ranch with her husband. She loves to create pieces with a western style and eclectic flair. Teaching has become a passion of hers and she wishes to share her knowledge to whoever is willing to learn. www.nevadawatt.com
Takeshi ‘Yone’ Yonezawa started leatherwork nearly twenty years ago in Tokyo, Japan.
In a world of speed and consumption, Yone invests his passion, love and time into his work. It’s not about creating for profit, but creating with the intent to change the perception and standards of quality leather goods. A firm believer that handmade = better, countless hours of effort and thought are spent going the extra mile to combine flawless execution, balanced form and function, and beautiful design.
Yone specializes in Japanese, American and European leatherwork. He is a proud member of the Portland Leather Guild and the Lone Star Leather Guild and lives in Beaverton, Oregon with his wife, son, and dog.
"I choose leather because it naturally changes with a person. Products may look the same at the beginning, but once a piece belongs to someone, it begins to share the journey with its owner. Each piece ends up telling a story - no other material can do that.” www.yonezawaleather.com
Annie has a long history in a diverse field of arts--everything from formal studio art to building sets for amusement parks. Whether Annie was creating custom fly fishing accessories or painting a fine art canvas, her love of uniqueness and creativity shines through. Fly fishing is a passion for Annie, and many of her projects revolve around the subject matter and act of fly fishing. Annie has won numerous awards and honors with her unique leatherwork and murals. Currently Annie is the Artist in Residence at McKenzie River Inn, Vida, Oregon where she makes fly fishing cases, organizes artistic workshops & helps maintain the ambiance & design of the Inn for guests. Recently, Annie graduated from the University of Oregon for Film and Animation. www.anniemargarita.com
Ed, the "Bear Man", began his journey in leatherwork at the age of 15 when he started visiting the Leather Craft Shop on a military base. Those visits inspired Ed to delve into the craft and to develop his own techinques along the way. In his late 20's, Ed was hired by McLelland's Saddlery in Lake Worth, FL. While at McLellend's, Ed met Bob Dellis who did all the tooling for the saddlery. Bob & Ed shared many interests with one another which led to Ed's learning tooling while they worked together. In the years that have passed, Ed has honed his craft and creates what he terms "Nature Realistic" designs; he studies what occurs in the natural world and recreates them in leather and dye. ED LABARRE
Founding President of Leather Wranglers Inc. in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Paul is a leather artist, knife maker and expert on metallurgy and sharpening. Paul started tooling leather in 1974 under the tutelage of Jimmy Resley. His love of the leather craft and his passion for finding a high performance swivel knife is why he developed the SK-3 and his non-traditional designs of the Round Knife, Skiver, and other leather craft knives. Paul has done extensive research in the technology and science of metals and metal alloys. Having served as a college professor for more than 25 years, Paul also loves to teach basic swivel knife use as well as sharpening principles and techniques for all your leathercraft cutting knives. He has written numerous articles and taught in various leather craft shows and workshops. Paul is the Vice President of International Internet Leathercrafters’ guild (2012-2014). He is also a member of New Mexico Roadrunner Leather Artisan’s Guild, Colorado Saddle Maker Association, Lone Star Leather Crafters of Fort Worth, TX and Leatherworker.net. www.leatherwranglers.com
Matt Wanner has been building saddles for Burns Saddlery in Salina, Utah for 10 years. He has been a part of the Burns team since he was 16 years old when he signed on to help train race horses with 5th generation owner, Scott Shaw. Matt’s talent for drawing and love of cowboying led him to the saddle shop and he has been there ever since. His dependability and willingness to go the extra mile in all he does landed him the position he now holds, Burns leather artisan leader. Matt has been inspired by some of the greats like Shane Deeter and Chuck Stormes. But he credits the talented team he works with every day with inspiring him to get out of his comfort zone and take his artistry to the next level. www.burnssaddlery.com
Joe found leatherwork through a career in rodeo where he desired quality equipment but couldn’t afford to purchase it. This led him to learn the skills necessary for custom leathercraft. Joe learned he enjoyed the making process & taking orders from friends & competitors. Several years later, after quite a bit of time in the shop with Ty Skiver and a job with Ansur Saddlery, he returned to Pendleton and began his business 23+. Joe has experienced a fill-time custom shop in downtown Pendleton and is currently specializing in custom belts and offering patterns and resources for other makers. www.twentythreeplus.com