When Calvin was about eight years old, his grandfather gave him a pair of rawhide reins. Like most kids, he used them hard and they broke. It was some time later that he grew to appreciate what his grandfather had given him.
“I always liked the hand braided rawhide gear but could never afford it.” After searching around he found a book by Bruce Grant entitled “Leather Braiding."
Calvin has learned by doing, the trial and error method. He has made most of the tools that he uses, and has remade them until they work just the way he wants them to. He starts by skinning the cow and makes all of his own rawhide, as he doesn’t like the commercial made rawhide.
Every piece that Calvin makes is “made to be used," however it is a beautiful piece of art and can be hung on the wall if that is what you want to do with it. He tries to keep some pieces made up for the last minute shopper and so that you can see and feel the quality of his work but most of his work is “made to order”. You pick the size and button pattern and color scheme for your piece.
Calvin was an invited artist at the Elko Cowboy Poetry gatherings twice. He has exhibited at several other show and exhibitions too. He has pieces all across the United States, in Canada and several pieces in Australia.
Calvin’s braiding got put on hold for about ten years as a full time ranch job and also doing commercial horseshoeing kept him too busy to do much braiding. This last year he is shoeing full time, it gets slow during the winter so he has been able to get back into braiding. He only works part time on ranches now so he is able to get a lot more braiding done.