A veteran who picked up leathercraft while a patient in army hospitals is now teaching a growing class of students how
to make fancy pistol holster, belts and other articles at a La Villilla workshop.
Teneyck Van Deusen, who retired from the army two years ago after treatment at Halloran General hospital, Staten Island, N.Y., and at
Brooke General hospital, has established the shop. He said:
"Most people think there is no trick to working leather. On the contrary, it takes about eight working hours to carve designs for a belt.
I have worked as long as 22 hours on a gun belt, and once put in 31 hours on a fancy handbag."
There are 12 grades of leather, from paper-thin sheepskin used only as lining, to thick, tough bullhide, he stated.
Horsehide is so soft and pliable it is used for moccasin tops.
Van Deusen is teaching students new creative designs typical of the west.