First, an Introduction…

Welcome to C and B Leather!

If you have found this site and are reading this post, you are most likely one of the first people to visit our new website.  Welcome and I hope you will be a frequent visitor or future customer! 

Who we are

C and B Leather is owned by Bob and Crystal Blea.  I’m Bob and I do the leather carving and stamping you see here.  My wife Crystal introduced me to leather carving as an art form after we got married.  Before that time I had no idea that it was possible to carve or stamp designs into leather.  My artistic background up to that point had been in painting, primarily oils.  Though I had seen designs in leather before I hadn’t thought about how people made them.  After discovering leather carving as an art, I started learning all I could.  I worked on developing my skills and I was fortunate to have a friend who was a saddle maker.  Dusty Johnson was a well known saddle maker who also made replicas of western gun belts from Hollywood western movies and he was my first teacher, showing me the basics.  I will always be grateful to him for that.  Eventually I was able to learn from some of the masters of leather carving like Bob Park, Robert Beard, Chan Geer and one of my most influential mentors, Jesse Smith, a master leather carver and saddle maker.  I am eternally grateful to all these people for the knowledge they have shared with me.

I am also extremely grateful to my wife Crystal.  Without her I never would have started on this journey.  While she doesn’t do any of the carving these days, she still helps out with lacing, the jewelry items  and making sure my design choices make sense.  She’s also my expert when it comes to purses and handbags.  I owe her much as she is the seed that all of this came from.

What we make

We produce a line of money clips, wallets, purses and notebooks. Occasionally we make jewelry items that combine carved leather with metals.  Most items are custom made to your specifications. Often I carve western floral style designs developed by saddle makers in the Western US, but that isn’t the only style I carve in.  I frequently carve Celtic designs, animals and even landscapes in leather.

What you will find on this blog

Over the coming posts I plan to talk about the techniques we use to construct the handcrafted leather items we make.  You will see posts about items we are making in our shop, the tools we use and the skills they require.  Because I’m also a big history buff, I plan to talk about the history of the art form.  I plan to talk about where the art came from and some of the people who developed the forms and skills we use today.  I’ve also come across quite a few characters in the leather trade and I hope to introduce you to a few of them.