Throughout his 50 years working with leather, Bill felt a great empathy for the beginning leathercrafter and wanted to see leathercrafting become not just a minor hobby for people to make belts and wallets, but for the leather artist to get full recognition as an artist doing fine art. He taught leather classes to countless numbers of people through the Kerrville Community Education Classes. But that wasn't far enough for him to reach out and share this knowledge with others.
In the winter of 1995, Bill met two other leather artists, Thom Keach and Greg Gaub. Together, the three decided to form a leather guild using the internet, and unite people around the world who had an interest in leather. In February, 1996 they formed the International Internet Leather Guild (IILG) which has since grown to 150 members world-wide, the largest leather guild in the world.
Through the internet he was able to help many more with his responses to e- mail inquiries. In large part, due to Bill's friendly personality and willingness to help others, the International Internet Leather Guild is becoming known as an excellent source of instructions, resources, support and camaraderie for leathercrafters of all skill levels.
Bill had a vision that reached around the world. Through his spirit, he will continue to be a mentor for many, both through his love and sharing of his knowledge of leather, and the example he set for us with his life. His personal challenge he met with grit, determination, sheer will, and above all, his wonderful sense of humor.
He attended the International Federation of Leather Guilds show in Fort Worth, Texas this October, knowing even then that it would probably be his last. He sent a tender New Year's message to his fellow members of the International Internet Leather Guild. Those that knew about the cancer he was fighting were touched and awed by his determination to the last to stay involved. The IILG will honor his final request, "to continue to be helpful to others."
His is survived by his wife, Mary, five children and four grandchildren. He has left behind hundreds of friends in the leather world. He left the IILG as his legacy to the leather world.
Bill will be remembered as a true Leather Artist, leather teacher and friend.
You can see Bill Boyd's work in the IILG Scrapbook.
Bill's last message to his IILG friends:
From: Bilmar@ktc.com (Bill Boyd) To: IIlgfirstname.lastname@example.org Subject: [IILG] New years greetings and thanks Date: Thu, 01 Jan 1998 16:17:18 GMT I would like to extend the best of holiday greetings to all of our members. May the coming year be the best and happiest you and your families have ever experienced. I would also like to thank all of you that have extended your best wishes to myself and family. I am happy to have been associated with a group of people and crafters such as you all are. The fellowship and sharing of our knowledge has meant a great deal to me in the past few years. I know I won't be seeing you at any more of the shows but am sure we will meet again when we all stand before the Master Craftsman's work bench to receive our final lessons. God Bless, take care, and may we all continue to be helpful to others. Catch U L8r =]8^) Bill Visit my web page at http://web.wt.net/~rvaneman/boyd Bill Boyd's Artistry In Leather 113 Spring Meadows. (830) 896-7697 (shop) Kerrville, Texas 78028 (830) 896-1860 (home)
Open Messages to Bill
from Thom Keach
Bill and I met over the internet in November 1995 through our mutual love of leather crafting. About this same time we met Greg Gaub and the three of us decided we wanted to form a leather guild using the internet and see if we could unite people around the world. the International Internet Leathercrafters' Guild was born in February 1996 and today, in large part due to Bills friendly personality and willingness to help others, has grown to 150 members world wide.
Also in February of 1996 Bill invited my wife and I to come visit him in Texas from our home in Montana. We took him up on the offer and drove the 1500 plus miles from Missoula to Kerrville. Over the week that we stayed I was able to pick Bill's brain for some of the leather crafting knowledge he had and I realized I had found a true Master Leather Artist and mentor in Bill.
For some unexplained reason while we were visiting Kerrville my wife and I bought a home and then had to hurry back to Montana to sell our house there... I suspect Bill was somehow psychically influencing me. By June of 1996 I was living in Kerrville and I really got to know Bill and love him as both friend and teacher. He helped me with many "tricks of the trade" ideas that I would never have discovered on my own and constantly encouraged me to do more and more with my leather work. I also observed his willingness to help other leather crafters through his responses to email inquiries from both beginners and experts in our guild.
Bill was always willing to give of his time and talent to those that would but ask. He had a wonderful sense of humor and never took himself too seriously always preferring to joke with someone over minor problems. He had a lot of empathy for the beginning crafter and wanted to see leather crafting become not just a minor hobby for people to make belts and wallets but for the leather Artisian to get full recognition as an artist doing fine art. Bill will be missed by all, but more importantly he will be remembered by all as a true Leather Artist, leather teacher, and friend. I am honored to have known him personally...
from Alton Savoy
Bill, if you're new ISP will let you, please let us in on any new tips and/or tricks you find.
from Greg Gaub
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