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Featured Artist: Jim Resley
(Paul's mentor)

Jim Resley

About 1951 when I was 11 years old I had the good fortune of having a 4-H Sponsor/Instructor that took a handful of kids and got us involved in leather work. It interested me because I always liked to work with my hands building model airplanes and drawing. We lived in a farming community about 100 miles from any city. Thankfully I discovered a Tandy Store in El Paso's Overland Street early on - I believe it was one of the first stores in the country. Every trip to El Paso I would hit the Tandy store. On the same block was a Tony Lama's Boots and Bluemel Saddlery store, so I would buy a few tools, belt strips, leather kits and supplies and then get to watch the men at "Bluemels" stamp and carve leather. In those days there wasn't much instructional material, except early Tandy books, and pattern books by Al Shelton and F. O. Baird. I continued to work on improving my carving. Throughout high school I made belts, purses, wallets, etc., for classmates, family, and friends. After high school I was itching to make a saddle, so my first was a Tandy Kit Saddle by "Hereford Brand/Textan." It had a wooden, rawhide covered "Little Wonder" tree. The next one was a 'rebuild' on a Roper tree. I completely tore it down and built up a new one from scratch. From then on I made saddles from scratch. During the early 1960's it was possible to get all the materials to build a saddle for around $100.

I continued my passion and love of leatherwork and carving throughout the time I was a professional pilot and aircraft mechanic. I began carving full time in 1992 -- and still do today. Fortunately, I stay busy doing custom-carved boots, and other custom orders here in El Paso, Texas, the "Boot Capitol of the World."

 

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“Uncompromised quality in custom, hand-carved leather craft, tools, and accessories.”