As a boy, books were a means of adventure to me. At eight, I taught myself to re-use scrap wire and other materials to build simple telegraphs and other types of circuits. Bicycle maintenance developed into wheel-building for myself and others. In high school I learned some wood and metal working skills, as well as automotive and television repair. Those skills form the basis of my current skills and learning.
In early 2000, braiding presented itself to me: A book which showed examples of horse gear also explained some of the history of braidwork in Argentina, Mexico, and the United States, and how it had come to be a lost art. Today, a mere handful of people manufacture tack in the tradition of the gauchos and the cowboys. This craft traces back to the Spaniards and to the Moorish folk – all of these cultures advanced it to their specific practical requirements, while adding decorative effects to suit their tastes.
At the outset, I felt only a need for a few of the techniques. The book could only provide the basic gist of the procedures, but with painstaking practice I was able to teach myself, slowly working out the details of how to perform the techniques. I grew to see this discipline as something to truly study, and continued to master more of the basic skills, employing and increasing number of the construction elements used to manufacture the bridles, reins, hobbles, and other items I saw in the book. Today, I expand on these procedures and even pioneer new ones.
Now, when developing a design, I have these elements at my disposal. Sometimes the various possible parts influence development as well. I’ve grown to greatly enjoy this craft, and I gratefully appreciate the gifts and encouragements which God has bestowed.
All of my work embodies my personality. At every step, I take the time required to ensure durability – all strands are back braided securely, as is all sewing. Achieving a high degree of uniformity throughout each piece requires concentration; the overall result is exquisite to those with a discerning eye. I currently stock small accessories, but do receive orders for larger items. My production numbers are very small, as I do all the work myself.
I order leathers which originate in tanneries around the globe, including Brisbane, Milan, the Caymans, and the U.S. Frequently offered are leathers which are custom tanned, dyed, and finished. When certain companies complete a production run using a specific leather, the remainder is put up for sale. I often purchase from these limited supplies (knowing they’ll soon be exhausted), and usually wish I’d bought a larger quantity. Those articles made from materials that are no longer available are thus “limited editions” in an additional sense.
Braiding using leathers which have differing characteristics lends variation and uniqueness to the individual pieces done in the same design. Some braids I press, rendering a level surface with a smooth, sleek look and feel. Some leathers are suited to give a more coarsely textured effect, further emphasizing the interaction of each strand.
I welcome any questions and/or feedback – Thank You!
The Argentine Kid
our Ebay listing!