The Elktracks Team

Jim Linnell
Founder, President, Lead Instructor

Born and raised on a ranch in eastern Montana, Jim Linnell has had leather working in his blood every since his first visit to the Miles City Saddlery. The sounds and smells of those visits are some of the most vivid memories he has of that early introduction to the leather working world. Now, after spending the last 50 years working with leather and nearly 40 years in the leather industry, those sounds and smells are still a part of his life.

As an artist, Jim’s leather art has been featured on magazine covers, catalog covers, in galleries and at countless shows. As a businessman, Jim has a track record of building some very successful and profitable national retail chains. In the leather working world he has received some of the most prestigious awards recognized in the industry. The Al Stohlman Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Master Leather Artisan Award from The Academy of Western Artists are some of the better known.

Jim has taught leather working skills to thousands of students around the world. His passion for the art has made him one of the most sought after instructors of our day and his students often get a history lesson on the art along with in depth instruction.

To learn more, read the feature published in the Leathercrafters & Saddler's Journal about Jim Linnell winning the Al Stohlman Award for Achievement in Leathercraft



Michael Magnus
Head of Digital

Michael Magnus is a Strategic Communication lecturer at Texas Christian University and serves as a consultant on digital marketing and SEO through his ad hoc ad agency, Magnus Opus.  Many of those skills that are utilized for international brands are contributed to helping grow Elktracks Studio in an effort to advance the leatherworking industry. He also has a monthly column in ShopTalk! Magazine, Magnus' Marketing Minute, which shares promotional tips for leatherworkers.

Magnus' daughter is also a regular at Elktracks, often teaching leatherwork from the perspective of a third grader. When not avidly reading or resentfully learning math, Caragh leads her own kid-run philanthropy where she sells her drawings and leatherwork to raise money to donate to kids in need.



Annie Libertini Leather Artist

Annie Libertini
Contributing Instructor

Annie Libertini is an award-winning leather artist living in Spokane, WA. Her leather masks and other work have been featured on television on Once Upon a Time, Z Nation, and Gotham, as well as in many photo shoots and theater productions in the US and beyond. Annie travels to teach leather crafting workshops all over the country as well as teaching online through Elktracks Studio.


Sheryl Katzke
Contributing Instructor

Sheryl Katzke is an award-winning braider and leather artist based out of Redmond, Oregon. She first stumbled upon leathercraft in 1997 when she found a set of tools at a flea market, which has propelled her on a journey she never would have imagined. She began braiding a few years later, learning from several masters of the craft, and becoming known for her talents in this area as well. Sheryl and her husband, Tom Katzke, started a 4-H club in their community, and have been actively teaching both students and adults ever since! She has published a number of articles in the Leathercrafters and Saddlers Journal and regularly volunteers as a judge for numerous fine arts competitions.