Clair Kehrberg, Saddlemaker and Handbag Designer

John Day, OR
With a love of horses and artwork in her soul and ranching a part of her family for generations, Clair Kehrberg decided to become a saddlemaker.  Growing up on a family cattle operation near John Day, Oregon, saddles were second nature, in fact, horseback was her preferred mode of transport. The decision was easy.

Studying with masters of the craft and passionate teachers she honed her skills as a leather carver, but creating saddles didn’t allow her to use her incredible carving ability or to exercise her love of fashion as much as she would like so she started making gorgeous, deeply carved stylish handbags with twisted fringe, unique leathers, overlays and sometimes outrageous colors.  Clair never uses a pattern twice, she free hand draws a pattern directly onto the leather that echoes her clients desire or personality, then she carves and stamps into the thick leather. She creates her own tools as she sees the need for new patterns and experiments with exotic combinations of leathers.  From her saddle making experience she understands the practicality of building something that is truly functional combining that with her artistic flair, her handbags are not only beautiful but fully useful too. Expect Clair’s carving talent to be setting a new standard in western art handbags and watch for this rising star to be at the forefront of western design.

Carved Leather and Crocodile Handbag by Clair Kehrberg


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