Monday, October 6, 2014

A Visit to Miller's Harness Shop


We have had some business recently with an Amish gentleman from the other end of the county and as a result have been twice to his leather shop.
This man and his industrious family have restored my faith in the Amish culture a bit.
Mrs. Miller keeps an immaculate home, Mose is a canny businessman--personable, a craftsman of a high caliber.
The many machines are powered by a gasoline generator which sits outside the workshop.


Horse collars ranged above a bench that holds a variety of hides ready to be worked.
Mose explained about different qualities and thicknesses of leather and how it can be sliced into very thin layers.


Halters and such waiting to be shipped out.

 So many pieces to admire.




Mose brought out a matched set of harness specially made for a pair of miniature horses who will wear these when on show.
The harness is going to a customer in England.
The cost?  A mere $6400.00!
The harness hardware is stainless steel.
Photos not good as the lighting is from overhead skylights--very practical in a shop that has no electricity.



I would love to see the little horses rigged out in this.


The head pieces are patent leather adorned with heart motifs in stainless steel.


The carriage horse belongs to one of the Miller's sons, who lives at the bottom of the lane.
This is a typically large Amish family, and the sons also work at the leather/harness trade.

 One of the family's buggies. 
It was a joy to be shown around here--everything so tidy.

18 comments:

  1. What a magnificent workspace. It's order and cleanliness speaks of a true craftsman. It just so happens that the Miniature Horse Society sometimes has a show at the riding school near me. If it occurs again I shall keep an eye out for Mr Miller's handiwork.

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    1. John; I would enjoy seeing your photographic record of such an event.
      I think you would have been intrigued by the tools Mr. Miller keeps in fine order.

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  2. This looks a fascinating place to visit. I imagine it smells great too - I love the smell of leather.

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    1. Rowan; The shop did indeed smell inviting. We were very impressed with the quality of the goods on display.

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  3. how interesting. I haven't been in a saddlers since I last owned horses, the year my son was born. I love to sew and make beautiful things, maybe that's the career I should have persued!

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    1. Kath; I mentioned to Mr. Miller about the quilt shop where I worked in Wyoming. He had never heard of a long-arm quilting machine and felt that such a thing couldn't equal the hand quilting of his wife and the other Amish women. He did want to know how the machine worked!

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  4. Oooh, JUST my sort of place Sharon! If only for the wonderful smell of the leather. I am not surprised there was such a big price tag on the harness for the miniatures as small tack is nearly impossible to get and harness would definitely have to be made to measure. It looks a fascinating place.

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    1. Jennie; I thought of you while there--I don't know if the Millers' work is identifiable in the retail outlets where it is sold--surely the quality would be recognized anywhere that such items are cherished.

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  5. Great post and I can almost smell the leather. DH and I loved going to a little leather shop when we lived in Spain. He made a leather jacket and a camera bag. :-)

    Enjoy your week ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Rainey; Isn't it a joy to watch someone work at a craft they love and do with precision!

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  6. What an amazing place. So much skill. If I wanted a bridle for Trigger (not that I do obviously....) it would need to be extremely small and made for him. Perhaps I should fly over!

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    1. Em, My husband commented that the owners of these miniature horses must need to take very precise measurements to be sent to the harness maker. I am in awe of the skill required to design the harness and make all the pieces fit.

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  7. This harness shop looks like a good place to visit and to shop. How nice this way of life and work is continuing and that harness making provides a living for the family.

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    1. Terra; Mr Miller began learning the trade when he was 17. I know that several of his sons produce various pieces in their nearby shops. It seems a wonderful thing that such skills are handed on.

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  8. The Amish people have always fascinated me with the simple life that they lead. How wonderful it must be to be such a craftsman content with your lot.
    Thanks for the interesting photo's
    Briony
    x

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    1. Briony; We have had a fascinating glimpse into the Amish culture these past few years. As with all folks, there are differing personalities and certainly a variety of approaches to the 'simple life.' Some families are not very industrious--the Millers and their extended family display high standards and a shrewdly honest sense of business.

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  9. Can you give the address for Mose Miller's shop? Thank you.

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    1. Grannipeg; I at first thought perhaps I shouldn't post the address--however, since Mose Miller runs a business, I'm sure he receives a good deal of mail. The shop pictured is now part of our property but Mose has a new shop at the address below--which was our former property!
      Mose Miller
      1793 Old Gradyville RD
      Columbia, KY 42728

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