Category Archives: Learning Bootmaking

Jack Rowin (Video)

Click over and watch a short film called “Boot Camp” made by Kristin Windbigler.

A portrait of storyteller, philosopher and bootmaker
Jack Rowin
by an admiring apprentice.

I met Jack Rowin, back in 1999. He makes a hardworking cowboy boot, occasionally decorated with a brand or initial. Ms. Windbigler’s film was like stepping back for another visit.

Here are some my old photos…

Contact Jack to place your order for custom cowboy boots, or to learn the craft of bootmaking.

Jack Rowin, Bootmaker

21595 S. Powerhouse Road

Manton, California 96059
(530) 474-5146

(Video link courtesy of Deep West Videos.)

The fate of OSU-Okmulgee’s Boot & Saddlemaking Program

“It is with regret that we officially announce OSU-Okmulgee’s decision to close our Shoe, Boot & Saddle program of study. NO new students will be accepted for enrollment this spring 2005, and SBS technical courses will be offered only through December 2005.” (Source)

Yes, the rumors are true…Oklahoma State is closing it’s Boot & Saddlemaking Program*, but all is not lost. I spoke with longtime instructor Mike DeWitt today and he tells me the program will be moved to nearby Green Country Technology Center.

You can contact the Center at (918) 758-0840.

Details will follow, but students will begin their courses in August 2005.

Mr. DeWitt thinks the move will benefit both the program and its new students. The program will be housed in a brand new building …custom-built to meet its instructional and equipment needs. And students will no longer be burdened with general education requirements like history, math and speech classes.

Mike DeWitt has agreed to follow the program to its new location…at least long enough to make sure it gets off to a good strong start.

*OSU-Okmulgee’s Boot & Saddle program is the only one of it’s kind remaining in the United States.

Alumni of the OSU program include:

  • Brian C. Thomas (Abilene, TX)
  • James “Smitty” Smith (Beggs, OK)
  • Lee Miller (Austin, TX)
  • Glenderson Daly (San Antonio,TX)

If you would like to add names to this list, please use the “comments” link below.


Well, the inevitable happened yesterday while I was stackin’ and trimmin’ my heels…I ran that lip knife right into my thumb. Ouch. (I spent the rest of the day pryin’ my cloth Band-Aid off of every Barge-cement-covered surface in the shop.) Tex asked me if my mishap was gonna make me shy away from the using the knife. Nah, despite what the bloodshed implies, I really am gettin’ better at using that thing…and now, somehow, the suspense is over.