|The Enochs Homestead 1939
Wayne’s father, Chester Hape, started doing leather work and building saddles in the 1950’s in Sheridan
quickly earning a reputation for excellence in the craft. He is renowned for his artistry and his contribution to
developing the “Sheridan Style” of stamping. He always had a home shop and Wayne learned leather work at
a young age and in by his teen years was apprenticing under his father as a saddle maker. During this time he
helped his father build trophy saddles for the PRCA National Finals Rodeo. Chester held the contract for 13
years and had Wayne build them himself the last two years of the contract, 1988 and 1989.
Wayne grew up in a ranching family. His parents, grandparents, and all his aunts and uncles were
family ranchers. Riding, roping, and working stock became second nature to him. He was raised on a
ranch near Sheridan that was originally owned by his great-great grandfather James Enochs who came
to the area in the 1870’s on a Texas cattle drive. Enochs made several more trips driving herds then
decided to settle in Sheridan where he became the first elected sheriff of Sheridan County and settled
down on his ranch near Sheridan. His place on Praire Dog Creek is still a working ranch owned by
Wayne’s aunt and uncle.
Wayne traveled around in the 1990’s, living all over the Rocky Mountain West while lugging
around a chest full of leather tools. He moved to Alaska in 1995 and settled in the town of
Homer for 13 years. He worked many jobs including a hunting and kayaking guide, taxi
driver, carpenter, and musician, always doing leather work and saddle repair as well. He met
his wife, Kena, in Homer and they were married in 2008. They decided to move to Sheridan to
be with his father, who after losing his wife to cancer in 2006 had retired. Since the birth of
their son, Waylon, in 2011 Wayne continues to build saddles and carry on the family
tradition of excellence in leather work.
|Established in the 1950's
Wayne has won many ribions for his saddles and personal leather art.
Blue Ribbon Saddles 2012
Blue Ribbon Personal Item
Blue Ribbon Personal Item 2012
Blue Ribbon Saddles 2007
& Leather Art
|~Saddles ~ Art ~ Purses ~ Wallets~Cases & Boxes
~ Book & Album Covers ~ Trash Cans ~ Scabbards ~
Clocks ~ Saddle bags ~ Clocks ~ Plaques~ Wall
hangings ~ Frames ~ And much more...
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Chester Hape, who is retired, Chester carved the intricate flower pattern that is the hallmark of the Sheridan
style, but his designs appear to be continuous, with every vine and leaf and flower connected. "I will break up
a vine with another vine," he told us in his studio, "but only with a single vine, so the flow is never broken. I
like to loop things through other things, so your eye never stops." Hape, who is known for the precision of his
carving, explains that his attraction to leatherwork came as no surprise. "All my family on my mother's side
were carpenters and artists. I liked to draw and make things from the time I was little. Growing up around
horses and ranches and rodeo, it seemed natural to put that feeling into saddles."