By Joan Austin
Steve Austin, a man barely alive, we can rebuild him, make him better, faster, .
Oh sorry, wrong Steve Austin, this is Steve Austin the master leather artisan. Steve started working with leather at a very young age. As many boys did as a scout, he got to do several projects using leather. Until that fateful day that he was kicked out of the Boy Scouts because he Oh wait thats a different story, and Steve does tell that one better, ask him about it sometime.
Anyway, throughout the years Steve continued to work with leather as a hobby, making gifts for friends and family. Steves last mundane profession was as a manager of a steel processing plant in Michigan. In the early 1990s the plant was liquidated and sold off for profit. Steve was laid off and began the hunt for a new job. During his hunt, he had a bit more extra time to devote to his love of working with leather. As time went on and Steve realized leather was much more fun than corporate politics, he got an idea.
Instead of leather being a hobby, it could be a full time profession. He began to take his work seriously and realized that he had already created a new way to carve leather. He created his own tools to create his works of art. Instead of the traditional way of beating leather into submission, he lovingly carves pictures into it, which bring things to life. His pictures are his babies and he has a hard time letting them be sold.
But that was not enough for this self-made professional. He needed more, he needed to be different than anyone else. He had to find a way to make leather tankards that could be used for hot or cold beverages. But not crack or taste nasty like some coatings (like pitch yuck!). After working with some chemists and nearly burning down our home, Steve came up with a unique process to coat leather tankards. This process has held up through vigorous testing of all sorts of liquor, OOPS I mean liquid of all temperatures.
As Steve continues his striving for perfection, he knows that he needs to share his success with others. Every year Steve gives a percentage of his sales to two very worthy organizations. He donates time, money, and storage for a food drive that supplies the Detroit area with literally tons of food. Plus if that was not enough, the Dolphin Project, thru the International Marine Mammal Project, receives a percentage of all Pern (Ann McCafferys world of dragonriders and Thread), related sales.
So although this Steve Austin may not be the Six Million Dollar Man most people identify with that name, between his leatherwork, charity work and all the love he shares with his wife and furry children, he is worth ten times the amount of that so-called TV guy.
You're hearing a track from Capercaillie called "Rann Na Mona" off of their Delirium CD.
Copyright: Austin Leather Works ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 1991 - 2007