Cody saddle maker praises Sheridan's leatherworking heritage

(Sheridan, Wyo.) — If you want to learn saddle making, you take the opportunity to learn from the master. So San Bernardino, Calif., resident Helen Walter traveled all the way to Sheridan to attend the 23rd annual Rocky Mountain Leather Trade Show this weekend and has enrolled in Cody saddle maker Keith Seidel's two-day class at Sheridan College. She's working on her third saddle, but she has also made gun holsters and belts. "I came to train under the master," Helen says. [image: FullSizeRender (39).jpg] *​Helen Walter in the saddle making class at Sheridan College.* Seidel has been a saddle maker in Cody for 35 years, and has exhibited his portfolio of work nationwide. He has been called a "trendsetter" in the industry by Leather Crafters and Saddles Journal. But he says Sheridan holds a specific influence in the world of leather workers. "Sheridan has been a mecca of saddle makers for 100 years," Seidel said. "The big dog, Otto Ernst, when he started his shop here in Sheridan, he employed lots and lots of people who built their entire careers following in his footsteps." And so the leather crafters descend on Sheridan every year, he said. "It is our pilgrimage to Sheridan to pay homage to the king—Don King, who developed a particular style of tooling, which made Sheridan famous," Seidel jokes. Read more about Sheridan Style leather carving here . The classes will continue Friday, and will culminate with the Rocky Mountain Leather Trade Show from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Holiday Inn. *Top photo: Keith Seidel of Cody teaches "Saddle Design and Patterning" in the Sheridan College Whitney Building.* #dally #reboot #news