The little shop at the corner of Bent Street  - Fine Hand Crafts for over 25 years

Max Hand

I was born shortly before Pearl Harbor in central Colorado. Very early on I wandered the stream beds and river banks thinking I would find gold. Instead, I found things far more valuable: arrow heads, implements, keel and clays for paints. All the while I

imagined myself being an Arapahoe boy at the same place in an earlier time... was it only imagination? The Boy Scouts provided further immersion in native lore and skills, and introduced me to this wonderful thing called leather. These soul interests were soon interrupted by nuisances like college, graduate school and a career.

 

Later, a visit to the wonderful Leather School in Florence, Italy reminded me of reality--my reality. I hit the trail back to the Rocky Mountains and found my way to Taos, magic Taos. I opened a small leather goods shop on Bent Street. One of my first customers was an Indian woman asking me to make a buckskin dress for her wedding. Since then there have been numerous dresses, two of which can be seen at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, worn by the guides. My skills expanded to scalp shirts, war

shirts, leggings, jackets, pants, moccasins, bags and on to deerskin backpacks, pillows and even furniture.

 

Today, I am what they call a senior citizen but I feel that I am just now getting good at what I do. I plan on many more years of creating deerskin items which people want for themselves. It will be pleasing for me if, on my last day, I am still able to work with deerskin.

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©2017 Taos Blue – Taos, New Mexico