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My Story in Leather Craft

I started to learn leather craft in 1982. I got a certificate of the 1st grade for instructor. However, it was difficult to draw my own carving pattern well, and I lost my interest gradually in leather craft for that reason.
I visited the Al Stohlman Museum at Tandy in Fort Worth in 1994. And I was deeply impressed when I saw these beautiful leather arts. They caught up my motivation. At that time I knew Sheridan Style Carving.
Fortunately I had a chance to meet Don King, Jim Jackson and Don Butler in 1997. It was my first time Sheridan trip. I saw a lot of beautiful carving not only Sheridan style carving but also many different style carving there. I attended the Gathering of Masters at Sheridan in 1999.
I had an opportunity to meet Ann Stohlman. Lana Smith gave me a chance. I appreciate her thoughtfulness. I traveled with Ann and Lana from Ashcroft, Canada to Sheridan in 2002 and 2004. Ann told us her history of life with Al. It was a great honor for me. It will be good memories for my life.
Clint Fay gave me a chance to make a saddle. He taught me how to build a saddle in 2007. And then he taught me how to build 1/2 saddle in 2008. I learned a lot of technique by making full size and half size saddle. Clint Fay and Jim Jackson helped me too much.
I visited at Chuck & Lana Smith's home for several days whenever going to America from 1999 to 2009. And also I visited at Tony & Kay Laier's home for several days in 2008.
All of these things encouraged me to study leather craft.
I'll do my best endeavor to make works which shows beauty of carving.
And I hope to perform Akiko style.

Akiko Okada