Leather & antlers on courthouse lawn
By James Henry Frazar BCC Contributor
Pictured: Photo by James Henry Frazar
Clayton and Nancy Powell show off some of their crafts and lots of antlers at the Celebrate Bandera Arts and Crafts Fair over Labor Day weekend.
Clayton A. Powell and his wife, Nancy, of Medina, brought their antlers and leatherwork to the Celebrate Bandera arts and crafts fair on the Bandera County Courthouse lawn over Labor Day weekend.
The couple also have a shop in Bandera, Bucking Leather Pony, where their items are also available. It is located adjacent to a parking lot at the corner of Highway 16 and Main Street.
"We make custom leather with names, brands and logos," Powell said. Those products include holsters and gun belts.
One of the more popular items are canteens wrapped in leather, which begin at $100. If the client prefers an exotic skin like ostrich skin, the canteen can cost $300. Powell even made one using mountain lion skin that he sold for $600.
The canteen features completely hand-carved leather. "I cut it by knife and use hand tools to finish it," Powell said. He's put the impressions of various symbols including the outline of Texas and letters forming names in the leather.
Nancy Powell does painting and braiding on many of the couple's handmade items.
Another specialty of Clayton Powell's is custom silver work, including pistol grips and belt buckles. He also does antler art. Powell collected them over the years up on ranches where he hunted wild hogs. Now, many of them are for sale.
Powell started Bucking Pony Leather after he retired from the United States Marine Corps. "I never carved a piece of leather until I retired," he said. However, once he started, he just kept at it. "I woke up one day and found out I was in business," he said.
Of course, he doesn't expect to make a fortune. "Don't confuse being in business for yourself with being rich," Powell said.