I learned to make my first pair of cowboy boots from third generation master boot maker, Carl Chappel.
When I walked into his shop – literally off a board walk in the tiny Texan town of Saint Jo - I thought I had just walked on to the set of a movie.
The trade of custom cowboy boot making exists outside of the world of academia and by and large, outside of the printed world as well. The practice is handed down, mouth to hand, by some of the few in the business. Shortly after I left Texas, I was very lucky to have been taken on as an apprentice by Buffalo Run Boots (pictured).
learning the trade, and getting comfortable with the idea of leaving the white collar working world, to make boots on my own.
In addition to the wonderful world of 4-H, my family showed Arabians on the professional circuit while I was growing up in Washington state.
In the long interim between then and now, I spent twenty + years in the arts working for the likes of Dale Chihuly
a practice I referred to as an overgrown hobby. I sold my entire woodworking shop to fund the acquisition of all the boot making tools I needed.