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LEATHER CRAFTER

Profile

Ron Ross is saddle maker, leather artist, and member of the IILG. His interest in leather, which began when he was very young, has lasted for nearly forty-five years. Since leaving the army as a young adult, Ross has followed a career in leather both part- and full-time.

“My specialty now is carving in the style called Sheridan,' reports Ross. He wrote his first book, East of Sheridan, as a result of people wanting to learn his Sheridan style of carving. A clamor for additional patterns resulted in his writing a second book, Sheridan Designs.

Ross is also a saddle maker. “Early on, in the early 1960s, I started to do saddle repair for myself and for others. This eventually evolved into the making of saddles. I must classify making of saddles as one of my favorite phases of leatherworking.” His work also includes driving harnesses, workhorse harnesses, and saddles, both plain and fancy.

Ross has a 450-square-foot shop at his home on a farm on the main highway between two small towns, St. Joe and Spencerville, Indiana. “My philosophy is, when I have work to do, I do it.” He also sells his work online via his Web site.

“The person who wants to pursue leatherwork as a career must first be dedicated to learning all that they can to perfect their skills,” says Ross. “They must constantly strive to improve their work, and to excel. They must also be willing to often work long hours for a low wage or return on their investment. Often, the satisfaction of having done a job well must suffice for the low wage or profit that they might make in the beginning.”

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