Harold Bligan - 2010 Al Stohlman Award Winner

Harold Bligan Receives Al Stohlman Award for Achievement in Leatherwork

Harold Bligan retired in January 1, 1984 from Du Pont Company after twenty-eight years of service.  His going-away gift was a Tandy Leather deluxe beginner’s kit that included three free lessons.  This was the start of his leather hobby and exciting adventure in leatherwork and winning awards in many shows and state fairs.  When joining The Association of Hoosier Leathercrafters Guild, he was encouraged to go to an IFoLG show which was his first in 1989 in Bismarck, ND.  He has missed only one show since.

His first lesson was making a Cadu which he framed and entered in his first Indiana state fair.  That got Harold started entering projects in the Indiana State Fair and the Marion County Fair every year since 1985.

He’s been a “though” competitor from the beginning winning multitudes of first and Best of Show awards.  In 2003, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the IFoLG show.  In 2007, he received Chairman’s Award of Excellence in the master’s category in the Indiana State Fair for his leather covered box; 1st place and Best of Category in Central Indiana Leathercrafter’s Guild 2007 Spring show; and 1st place in the 2007 Marion County Fair.

His amazing teaching record speaks for itself.  Harold started the workshops in the Perry Twp 4-H seventeen years ago because they needed someone, and Bea Wayman, the local Tandy store manager, recommended him.  He helped beginning leather crafters Thursday evenings at that store for several years until it was closed.

This in turn started other townships calling for assistance in 4-H, and since, he’s been doing 4-H workshops yearly for the last ten or eleven years in Lawrence, Perry, Warren, Franklin townships, Wayne County and Boone County.  Even Cub scouts, Boy Scouts, day camps, free lesson classes, workshops for his church and demos at the Marion County and Indiana State Fair have kept Harold busy teaching.  The quality and quantity of Leathercrafters in Indiana has been and remains to be greatly enhanced by Harold. 

For the last 15 years, every Tuesday evening he hosts a leather session for anyone interested in doing leatherwork in his home.  (Wife, Aimee supports Harold in all of his endeavors.) The three Wardwell boys who received the Ann Stohlman Award were among those Tuesday night students for years.

He and the Central Indiana Guild have already committed several dates in 2011 for teaching and offering demonstrations in leathercraft.

His achievement toward the mastery in the art of Leathercraft is described with one word, “outstanding.”

"Harold Bligan Receives Al Stohlman Award For Achievement In Leatherwork."The Leather Crafters & Saddlers Jouranl 21.2 (2011): 6. Print.