What inspired you to become an apprentice bootmaker?
When I first moved to Austin, I wanted to find a working apprentice job where I was learning a trade. I quit my job in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and moved down here having no idea what that would look like, or if it was even an option. I found Texas Traditions by answering a really vague ad they posted and went through about a month of working interviews before I got hired part time in a trial 30 day period. My inspiration came during those first two months. I’m hooked.
Who are your teachers? What is it like to learn from them?
Lee and Carrlyn Miller are my teachers. I work full time for them at Texas Traditions in Austin Texas.
How would you describe your experience as an apprentice?
Being an apprentice is HARD WORK!! you are constantly learning as you’re making, and the pressure to do good work is always there. it’s challenging, and rewarding at the same time.
What is the best bootmaking advice that you have gotten?
It’s not really advice, but more of a pep talk… whenever I get a little frazzled with a step Lee always says, “if I can do it, you can do it.” It helps.
How do you plan to perpetuate the craft?
Like I said earlier, I’m hooked on bootmaking. so I don’t really have a plan to perpetuate the craft other then keep doing it, do good work, and be really open to any questions people have.
The Cowboy Bootmakers. Memories and photos collected by Dana Perrotti, 2019.