April 6-8, 2017

Talented instructors and students from Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana gathered in Montpelier, Idaho, for three days to explore the art of leather braiding and knot tying.  Master instructors Steve Derricott and Mike Hickey conducted the class at the National Oregon/California Trail Center where they used classrooms and work areas to teach the craft that has been around for thousands of years.

Braiding is a unique art that creates functional and beautiful objects such as whips, bridles, reins, saddle adornments, and other items such as knife handles and anything requiring decorative leatherworks.

Steve Derricott currently lives in Boise but is a native of Montpelier, so bringing this event back to Bear Lake county is important to him.  “Everyone here has been so helpful and the venue is perfect.  I’d love to make this an annual event here.  I also would like to thank the Idaho Commission on the Arts for their assistance in supporting me in developing leather braiding as a recognized art form,”  stated Derricott, who has spent time in countries like Argentina learning from South American experts who have passed down the art.

Mike Hickey has written books on braiding and knot tying under the pseudonym Tom Hall.  Together the teaching duo instructed ten students who will take their new skills home.

‒ Steven Hatcher, Folk & Traditional Arts Director