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Leather Craft Training In Texas

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So here is the rundown. Some of us leathercrafters from Central Texas have been beating every bush and knocking on doors to get instruction on our fine craft that we indulged ourselves with. We were glad to hear about the New Leatherrama and Hides to Art training classes. Sheridan, Oregon, and even Wickenburg are great places to get some refined leather craft training..............but what about the central US, in particular Texas. With such a history in leather craft and many masters coming from this area; we should have some form of training event in this great state? Right? Yea, we do have Hidecrafters and I have taken a few courses there, but since George split, well, there hasn't been too much going on over there. We recently asked Ron about any upcoming classes since Fort Worth is rather close to us.....about 4 hours; he said that they have been thinking about bring in Chan Geer for a leather carving clock class based on one of his new pattern packs.......great until we hear that the class cost was nearing $400.....plus our hotel, meals and transportation. Now, we usually carpool up there, but it is still a figure we have to consider......especially for me since this is my hobby and we are a single income home. Ron is very cool guy, but just don't ask him about the website! We do to get his goat, but we are only playing.

So three of us (who all started in leathercraft about 3.5 years ago) stood in the parking lot after one of our guild meetings in the dark talking about putting together something of a group to promote leathercraft from beginners to advanced through regularly scheduled training. Even if we consider only instructors from Texas, we would have enough classes to at the very least cover the first dozen course or so. So on my new adventure, I started asking around. I had an opportunity to meet the famous Wayne Christenson from Standing Bear Trading Post....what a character he was was, but nice as all get out. We got on the subject of leather craft instruction and how he could remember when it was popular then it declined and now he feels it is on an upswing again. He has his store and has regular courses going on, but what caught me by surprise was that he has a 6 month carving course! Wow! I couldn't imagine telling my guild members that they have to come twice a month or once a month for a training class that will last 6 months when I have a hard time keeping their attention at our regular meetings. But I think that is way cool and if I still lived in California, I would there taking that course.

The three amigos as we have come to refer to ourselves in this endeavor have been only talking about it for 8 months now......I still get the regular calls from the other two asking me if I have made any progress on this idea....and my answer has always been "a little." We have everything possible to make something like this possible, in my opinion and we have a big tourist base and areas to accommodate such events. I am afraid that the attraction would be there, but the attendance would not be and the voice that I hear is from the spousal unit telling me that it better not cost us any money out of pocket without a return! I get the chills just typing it. Just kidding.

Over the course of the last year, I have had the great fortunate of making some great friends here and abroad that are involved in leather craft. Most of the crafters in some countries do not have access to training, books, designs, patterns, etc like we do here in the United states unless they buy from a store like Tandy. Most of my duplicate magazines and instructional books have gone to those places where hands on information is not readily available for free just so I can do my part to keep this craft alive and so others can learn.

One country that has stood out and I am blown away every time I speak to some crafter in that country or read about their leathercraft arts is Japan. Though they are big into Sheridan leather carving; there are some artists that do western floral carving. They have an overwhelming resource of books and instruction that I wish I had the time and money to invest in. I have been able to count upwards of 35 books (mostly new) on leather and leather carving as they refer to it. There are leather craft or "arts & craft" academies that you can attend. The two main leather craft companies have their own training institutes for leather. Wow!

All awhile I am thinking, why can't we reproduce this over here in the same grand fashion? A question that still goes unanswered for now. Some Japanese leather carvers have been gracious enough to answer my questions and offer tips when we are not lost in translation. At Sheridan this year, a contestant who entered a "hat box" won and she was from Japan. She happens to be director of an leather Arts academy in Japan. She has been a student of Clint Fay and Jim Jackson and has taken what she has learned back to Japan and instructs the Sheridan style carving! She has been really awesome and nice during our emails.

I guess in all of my rambling, this is what we (Central Texas) offers so we could bring leather craft training to this area of the US! We have hotels that can host accommodations, classrooms; we have transportation and interstate freeways; we have eateries and amusements and not just the XXX places, but actual family amusement centers for all.

So here are some questions that I would like to post to the whole forum.....your answers, ideas, gripes about previous trainings and critiques good or bad will be accepted.

Would you attend any 1-2-3 day training classes here in Central Texas?

What range of cost would you expect to pay for this training?

What influence would make you come to these trainings?

General, Western Floral, figure or Sheridan carving?

What would be helpful for the planners to know to make it the best experience for you?

What would you expect to be included in your fee?

If lunch or meal was included, would this encourage you to attend?

Any other information that I forgot would be considered and accepted; including "run, don't do it!"

Responses on this thread or by PM are cool too!

Many thanks for your time! For those of you who are masters and ambassadors, you might get a call from me to come to Texas!

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Would you attend any 1-2-3 day training classes here in Central Texas? Yes, Brownwood use to be the home of the boot and saddle show it might be a good place for the event.

What range of cost would you expect to pay for this training? depends on what the class is on and how long.

What influence would make you come to these trainings? To learn the hard to master skills.

General, Western Floral, figure or Sheridan carving? Sheridan carving

What would you expect to be included in your fee? same as above

If lunch or meal was included, would this encourage you to attend? lunch or not i would attend

I've wanted to attend other shows but when a two day drive is ahead of the event it makes it awful hard to attend.

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thanks I appreciate the input...

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I would be really interested in going to something like this. Even though we have the Saddlers Roundup in Wichita Falls, there doesnt seem to be any classes or instruction available (this will be the first year I well go). I would suggest trying to get a meeting like this at a different time of the year such as spring. I would be interested in just about anything Sheridan or leathercraft related similar to how the classes at Sheridan are set up. I would also suggest maybe getting some of the members of TCAA to come in and give a class or two since so many of them are from Texas.

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Yea, really unless your into boots.....that was all of the classes that we saw while at the Boot and Saddle show. We go mainly to meet up with others we know and buys tools. We also get a chance to sit down with Jeremiah, Chuck Smith, Don Butler (last year) and a couple of others and get as many points as I can within the time limit they give me because there are so many other leather crafters trying to get theirs too. But it is fun, you get some good deals on leather, tools and other items thorought the 3 days.

I appreciate your input!

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I appreciate all of the comments, mostly by PM and that is cool.

Well, we are jumping in with both feet with a pretty nice course. Those of you that are interested, we conned Jim Linnell to come to Austin to teach a two day course on figure carving. The pictorial design has not been selected yet. The class is tentatively scheduled for the middle of November. I will post the dates, times and cost on here and the LW calender when everything has been finalized. We are also working on a few one day courses for beginners and intermediate leather craft people. Sheridan design and carving seems to be up high on our list, so we will be looking at this style. I am going to be talking to a couple of instructors on bringing a class on California and Porters style carving. I was considering doing a big one day class where we have each discipline available for the student to choose to attend, Sheridan, California and Porter's styles?? This may be a big $$ class due to the instructors I would like to see come in.

Keep those comments coming if you like....if not, just keep ignoring me just the same!

Thanks

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What ever happen to this idea? Im a NOOB and finding real help even in Fort Worth is not easy. Tandy does a 3 hour first time class but where do you go after that for more help?

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I'd be very interested in this. Hopefully something can be put together.

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I know this is an old post but I’m interested in some leather classes in central texas, really for the hubs. He loves leather work and spends lots of time (and money) on the trade but I know he wants to advance his skills but I don’t know where to get him lessons at? Any ideas?? 
thank you

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Check out Aaron at Maker's Leather Supply. He's an Army vet and a hell of a nice guy. He's located right there in your backyard Westbrook!

Now that the pandemic craze is dying down here in Texas, I'd wager that he has had some interest in facilitating some classes.

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I am off topic /my name is rob rhoads live in burnet just wondering are ya'll close those of you talking about central texas and brownwood classes in leather carving thanks.

Edited by Robr

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