C Lazy B Leather
How I Got Into Tooling
Hi there! I am Chris Block, beautifier of dead cows.
If you have purchased beef from Bunkhouse Beef you have likely met me when you pick your order up. I am the youngest of John and Mary Lou's children and help as much as I can with beef orders and delivery. I also am in charge of making the website ---- so when it gives you fits, you know who to blame.
A hobby of mine that I have always enjoyed tremendously is leather work.
I started working with leather when I was in junior high. An old saddle maker, by the name of Darrell, who lived up the road from my parents took a liking to me and would give me scraps of leather, old tools, and tips on general leather work. My first projects were primitive at best, but that never stopped Darrell from giving me more leather and trying to challenge me. I continued to tinker with leather throughout high school and college, making pistol holsters, knife sheaths, phone cases, and bracelets. At this point I hadn't ever tried to carve or tool the leather I worked with. Tooling was a task that was far to big for me to undertake or understand. It wasn't until after I graduated college that I made a few tooled belts that were, honestly, absolutely terrible.
I took my newly tooled belts and went to show them to another saddle maker who is quite the artist. He was gracious enough to give me pointers and not laugh too hard at my beginning work. From there my tooling style has blossomed and grown tremendously, mainly because of a short four month stint I did at the Double H Ranch Saddle Shop (DHRSS) in Fort Collins, Colorado. Working with Mark and Heath Howes at DHRSS was an honor and an incredible learning experience.
My style of tooling is based primarily on the Sheridan Style of tooling made popular by Barry King. Though my work is based on Sheridan Style, it has it's own unique twist. I also enjoy tooling Oak Leaf, Texas, and other styles as well.
Unless otherwise requested, my work is unique from piece to piece. I start with a blank piece of leather and draw out my design on the leather with a pencil. Once my design is drawn I carve the design with a swivel knife and then using a variety of tools add texture and background to the piece.
After the piece of leather is completely tooled, I use natural neatsfoot oil and Tan Kote to give it the desired color. Using these two products allows the leather to breath and be re-oiled when necessary.
Any product that I make for a customer is completely customizable upon request. Prices may vary depending on complexity of design.