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Bill Ferreira grew up on the Big Island of Hawai'i amongst the rich ranching culture of the Hawaiian Paniolo. The art of rawhide utilized in traditional paniolo gear fostered a desire to learn more and understand its origins and craft. Bill has been working rawhide for more then 20 years now, primarily self-taught, though inspired and educated by many great craftsmen, he continues to hone his skills trying to improve each piece to be better than the last. He painstakingly prepares all of his own hides to create the best possible finished products he can. " Rawhide is such a unique material to work with, there are so many variants between every hide. The art is finding what each hide is best utilized for." Making rawhide to work with is a process in itself, and different techniques in the curing process will create very different feels & looks in a finished product. "What I do is from A to Z. It's kind of like a cabinet maker going into a forest, cutting down a tree, milling the lumber and curing it, then fabricating the wood into cabinets to install in a home. It doesn't happen overnight, there is so much work involved from start to finished piece." Bill usually has a few pieces in inventory for sale, but also takes custom orders. "I build for the art of the craft. Every piece is built with the mindset that I want the customers great-grandkids to be able to still use it. First off, it must function properly, however there's no reason it can't be pretty too." Occasionally he'll have prepared hides or cut string available for sale for those who want to build their own projects. "I've received a lot of help & knowledge thru the years and I'm glad to pass it on to anyone."

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7 Harim
East Helena, MT 59635

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