Tony Laier - 1999 Al Stohlman Award Winner

Tony Laier 1999 Al Stohlman Award Recipient

Saturday evening, October 2, 1999, Denver Holiday Inn and at the IFoLG Banquet, Dottie and I had the privilege and honor to present the 1999 Al Stohlman Award for Achievement in Leathercraft to Tony Laier.  Now, one of the world’s finest leather artists and teacher/illustrator, Tony is enjoying a long and colorful career in working with leather.

When just a high school student, Tony met Ben Moody (Al Stohlman award recipient 1992) and was introduced to leathercraft.  Then came college and service in the Vietnam war.  Upon returning home, he once again met Ben and was advised to take a job at the local Tandy store.  Tony rose through the ranks and became the Director of Research and Development for that company.  Throughout the many years with Tandy Leather Co., Tony developed scores of leather kits, hundreds of leather projects and lesson plans designed to teach the craft.  It was while working for that company, Tony met his wife-to-be, Kay.

Tony Laier brings to leathercraft a substantial background of organizational skill, a capacity to communicate leathercraft skills to a wide range of people and locations. He has developed his expertise in leatherwork to the level of Fine Art.  He has been involved with countless leathercraft classes and the development of their syllabuses.  His work is well known internationally, both east and west.  Tony possess the remarkable and marvelous balance of all these things with an overall burning desire, a heartfelt deep concern for the future of the craft, and is doing something about it. 

This coveted medallion was placed about the neck of Tony by his early mentor and teacher Ben Moody.  It was a thrilling contrast for us to see as it were, the baton being passed form the elder to the younger – as indeed needs to be done a thousand fold across the land.  I am positive the leatherworking world will continue to hear and see more advances and teachings from Tony Laier in the future.  Truly Tony Laier has that dedication and desire for leatherwork which so carefully has aligned his life with dedication and desire for leatherwork which has so carefully has aligned his life with dedication and desire of the award’s found mentor, Al Stohlman. 

"Tony Laier 1999 Al Stohlman Award Recipient”. The Leather Crafters & Saddlers Journal.  Nov/Dec 1999: p 32. Print.