Jeff Minor: Leather craftsman – creating unique cowboy gear | TSLN.com

Jeff Minor: Leather craftsman – creating unique cowboy gear

Growing up riding and breaking horses in Nebraska, Jeff Minor started repairing tack and doing leather braiding at an early age. His family worked for various large ranches in Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado and Montana, and he became acquainted with many different types of cowboy gear. He worked for a saddle maker in Colorado and set up his first saddle shop in 1982. He then moved to Salmon, ID, and continued to produce quality rawhide braidwork and saddles.

“I’ve never had a main street shop. I’ve always worked out of my own place,” says Minor. Custom orders are the mainstay of his work.

For a number of years he displayed and sold braidwork at cowboy poetry gatherings, and was accepted for the Trappings of the American West Show in Flagstaff, AZ, sending some of his unique pieces every year. His rawhide and leather braiding was featured in the traveling exhibition of the Arizona Commission on the Arts in 2000-2002. This show included the work of 50 artists, helping educate the public around the nation about western art.

He began doing his own silver work to put a more personal touch into the pieces he creates. He wanted to make artistic pieces of cowboy gear from start to finish, including the metal work – silver mounted spurs and fancy bits for his bridles. He also makes his own rawhide, obtaining hides from custom butchers and processing them himself. He prides himself on making unique pieces of tack and fancy collector’s items that are completely created by just one artist.

He learned much of his early braiding technique from the work of Louis Ortega, a California horseman and craftsman who was one of the foremost makers of rawhide cowboy gear. Ortega donated his personal collection to the Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1986.

“He was a master, and contributed to getting rawhiding classified as a work of art,” says Minor. “Ortega made cowboy gear, but refined it to a much higher level. His work and the goals of the TCAA (Traditional Cowboy Artists Association) inspired me to take my own work to a higher level and help educate people about this dying art.” says Minor.

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Minor creates functional western gear that goes far beyond practical use, and much of his work is purchased by people who want to display it. He also continues to learn as much as he can about new techniques and perfecting his skills.

“Four years ago I went to a braiding workshop at Oklahoma City,” says Minor. “Two of the featured instructors were masters of their trade from Argentina, and one was from Australia. It was a round table workshop with about 30 braiders, sharing ideas and methods of preparing hides, and braiding techniques.

Growing up riding and breaking horses in Nebraska, Jeff Minor started repairing tack and doing leather braiding at an early age. His family worked for various large ranches in Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado and Montana, and he became acquainted with many different types of cowboy gear. He worked for a saddle maker in Colorado and set up his first saddle shop in 1982. He then moved to Salmon, ID, and continued to produce quality rawhide braidwork and saddles.

“I’ve never had a main street shop. I’ve always worked out of my own place,” says Minor. Custom orders are the mainstay of his work.

For a number of years he displayed and sold braidwork at cowboy poetry gatherings, and was accepted for the Trappings of the American West Show in Flagstaff, AZ, sending some of his unique pieces every year. His rawhide and leather braiding was featured in the traveling exhibition of the Arizona Commission on the Arts in 2000-2002. This show included the work of 50 artists, helping educate the public around the nation about western art.

He began doing his own silver work to put a more personal touch into the pieces he creates. He wanted to make artistic pieces of cowboy gear from start to finish, including the metal work – silver mounted spurs and fancy bits for his bridles. He also makes his own rawhide, obtaining hides from custom butchers and processing them himself. He prides himself on making unique pieces of tack and fancy collector’s items that are completely created by just one artist.

He learned much of his early braiding technique from the work of Louis Ortega, a California horseman and craftsman who was one of the foremost makers of rawhide cowboy gear. Ortega donated his personal collection to the Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1986.

“He was a master, and contributed to getting rawhiding classified as a work of art,” says Minor. “Ortega made cowboy gear, but refined it to a much higher level. His work and the goals of the TCAA (Traditional Cowboy Artists Association) inspired me to take my own work to a higher level and help educate people about this dying art.” says Minor.

Minor creates functional western gear that goes far beyond practical use, and much of his work is purchased by people who want to display it. He also continues to learn as much as he can about new techniques and perfecting his skills.

“Four years ago I went to a braiding workshop at Oklahoma City,” says Minor. “Two of the featured instructors were masters of their trade from Argentina, and one was from Australia. It was a round table workshop with about 30 braiders, sharing ideas and methods of preparing hides, and braiding techniques.

Growing up riding and breaking horses in Nebraska, Jeff Minor started repairing tack and doing leather braiding at an early age. His family worked for various large ranches in Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado and Montana, and he became acquainted with many different types of cowboy gear. He worked for a saddle maker in Colorado and set up his first saddle shop in 1982. He then moved to Salmon, ID, and continued to produce quality rawhide braidwork and saddles.

“I’ve never had a main street shop. I’ve always worked out of my own place,” says Minor. Custom orders are the mainstay of his work.

For a number of years he displayed and sold braidwork at cowboy poetry gatherings, and was accepted for the Trappings of the American West Show in Flagstaff, AZ, sending some of his unique pieces every year. His rawhide and leather braiding was featured in the traveling exhibition of the Arizona Commission on the Arts in 2000-2002. This show included the work of 50 artists, helping educate the public around the nation about western art.

He began doing his own silver work to put a more personal touch into the pieces he creates. He wanted to make artistic pieces of cowboy gear from start to finish, including the metal work – silver mounted spurs and fancy bits for his bridles. He also makes his own rawhide, obtaining hides from custom butchers and processing them himself. He prides himself on making unique pieces of tack and fancy collector’s items that are completely created by just one artist.

He learned much of his early braiding technique from the work of Louis Ortega, a California horseman and craftsman who was one of the foremost makers of rawhide cowboy gear. Ortega donated his personal collection to the Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1986.

“He was a master, and contributed to getting rawhiding classified as a work of art,” says Minor. “Ortega made cowboy gear, but refined it to a much higher level. His work and the goals of the TCAA (Traditional Cowboy Artists Association) inspired me to take my own work to a higher level and help educate people about this dying art.” says Minor.

Minor creates functional western gear that goes far beyond practical use, and much of his work is purchased by people who want to display it. He also continues to learn as much as he can about new techniques and perfecting his skills.

“Four years ago I went to a braiding workshop at Oklahoma City,” says Minor. “Two of the featured instructors were masters of their trade from Argentina, and one was from Australia. It was a round table workshop with about 30 braiders, sharing ideas and methods of preparing hides, and braiding techniques.

Growing up riding and breaking horses in Nebraska, Jeff Minor started repairing tack and doing leather braiding at an early age. His family worked for various large ranches in Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado and Montana, and he became acquainted with many different types of cowboy gear. He worked for a saddle maker in Colorado and set up his first saddle shop in 1982. He then moved to Salmon, ID, and continued to produce quality rawhide braidwork and saddles.

“I’ve never had a main street shop. I’ve always worked out of my own place,” says Minor. Custom orders are the mainstay of his work.

For a number of years he displayed and sold braidwork at cowboy poetry gatherings, and was accepted for the Trappings of the American West Show in Flagstaff, AZ, sending some of his unique pieces every year. His rawhide and leather braiding was featured in the traveling exhibition of the Arizona Commission on the Arts in 2000-2002. This show included the work of 50 artists, helping educate the public around the nation about western art.

He began doing his own silver work to put a more personal touch into the pieces he creates. He wanted to make artistic pieces of cowboy gear from start to finish, including the metal work – silver mounted spurs and fancy bits for his bridles. He also makes his own rawhide, obtaining hides from custom butchers and processing them himself. He prides himself on making unique pieces of tack and fancy collector’s items that are completely created by just one artist.

He learned much of his early braiding technique from the work of Louis Ortega, a California horseman and craftsman who was one of the foremost makers of rawhide cowboy gear. Ortega donated his personal collection to the Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1986.

“He was a master, and contributed to getting rawhiding classified as a work of art,” says Minor. “Ortega made cowboy gear, but refined it to a much higher level. His work and the goals of the TCAA (Traditional Cowboy Artists Association) inspired me to take my own work to a higher level and help educate people about this dying art.” says Minor.

Minor creates functional western gear that goes far beyond practical use, and much of his work is purchased by people who want to display it. He also continues to learn as much as he can about new techniques and perfecting his skills.

“Four years ago I went to a braiding workshop at Oklahoma City,” says Minor. “Two of the featured instructors were masters of their trade from Argentina, and one was from Australia. It was a round table workshop with about 30 braiders, sharing ideas and methods of preparing hides, and braiding techniques.

Growing up riding and breaking horses in Nebraska, Jeff Minor started repairing tack and doing leather braiding at an early age. His family worked for various large ranches in Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado and Montana, and he became acquainted with many different types of cowboy gear. He worked for a saddle maker in Colorado and set up his first saddle shop in 1982. He then moved to Salmon, ID, and continued to produce quality rawhide braidwork and saddles.

“I’ve never had a main street shop. I’ve always worked out of my own place,” says Minor. Custom orders are the mainstay of his work.

For a number of years he displayed and sold braidwork at cowboy poetry gatherings, and was accepted for the Trappings of the American West Show in Flagstaff, AZ, sending some of his unique pieces every year. His rawhide and leather braiding was featured in the traveling exhibition of the Arizona Commission on the Arts in 2000-2002. This show included the work of 50 artists, helping educate the public around the nation about western art.

He began doing his own silver work to put a more personal touch into the pieces he creates. He wanted to make artistic pieces of cowboy gear from start to finish, including the metal work – silver mounted spurs and fancy bits for his bridles. He also makes his own rawhide, obtaining hides from custom butchers and processing them himself. He prides himself on making unique pieces of tack and fancy collector’s items that are completely created by just one artist.

He learned much of his early braiding technique from the work of Louis Ortega, a California horseman and craftsman who was one of the foremost makers of rawhide cowboy gear. Ortega donated his personal collection to the Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1986.

“He was a master, and contributed to getting rawhiding classified as a work of art,” says Minor. “Ortega made cowboy gear, but refined it to a much higher level. His work and the goals of the TCAA (Traditional Cowboy Artists Association) inspired me to take my own work to a higher level and help educate people about this dying art.” says Minor.

Minor creates functional western gear that goes far beyond practical use, and much of his work is purchased by people who want to display it. He also continues to learn as much as he can about new techniques and perfecting his skills.

“Four years ago I went to a braiding workshop at Oklahoma City,” says Minor. “Two of the featured instructors were masters of their trade from Argentina, and one was from Australia. It was a round table workshop with about 30 braiders, sharing ideas and methods of preparing hides, and braiding techniques.