Nancy Martiny has made it in a man's world. She started making western saddles as a hobby but there's now a three-year waiting list of people lined up to buy her designs.

 

南西·马蒂尼开始制作马鞍时,只是为了兴趣。而现在,要买她的马鞍要等三年呢。曾几何时,马鞍制作是牛仔们包揽的。但马蒂尼对此从不在意。

Martiny builds her saddles from the ground up, eventually carving and stamping intricate patterns into the leather. She works in a field that’s been dominated by cowboys for years, but that's never bothered her.

Martiny is no stranger to working with men. She grew up on a ranch, working cattle, riding and roping.

 

对南西·马蒂尼来说,和男人一起工作不是什么新鲜事。她在一个牧场长大,整天和牛、马、套索打交道。

"From whenever I was a little kid I was always doing what the men did," she says. "And then, as I got older and rodeoed and then, producing rodeos, I’ve always worked with men."

 

她说:“我从小就经常做男人的工作。长大以后,我学习牛仔竞技表演,然后又制作牛仔表演节目。我总是和男人一起工作。”

So it never occurred to her that she couldn’t build her own saddles, something that men -- cowboys -- usually do. Something that comes as a surprise to many.

 

既然男人--也就是牛仔--通常都自己制作马鞍,所以马蒂尼从来就没想过她为什么就不能为自己制作一套马鞍。

"They think you have to big and strong to build saddles but you don’t," says Martiny. "You have to have a sharp knife."

And you need an artistic eye for carving and stamping designs into the leather.

 

马蒂尼说,把图案雕刻和烙印在皮革上,需要有艺术眼光。

"It’s more of a finesse thing than a strength thing. If you’re trying to overpower your leather, you’re going to get in a wreck and you probably haven’t done it right."

 

“与其说这是件力气活儿,不如说是件细活儿。如果你只会下死力去整治你的皮革,你八成没做对。”

Carving elaborate patterns into the leather is a skill Martiny first learned as a teenager, while watching her father tool leather.

 

马蒂尼在皮革上雕出花朵的枝干,花瓣,叶子。它们看来就像是从皮革上长出来的。马蒂尼十几岁时就看着父亲加工皮革,慢慢也学会了这种技巧。

"So when I was 15, I talked him into helping me start tooling," she recalls. "And then I kind of took his tools and made myself a belt and of course my friends at school wanted a western belt and it kind of started just like that."

 

她说:“我15岁那年说服父亲帮助我开始加工皮革。我用他的工具给自己做了一条皮带。我在学校的朋友都想要西部式的皮带,我就这么开始了。”

Martiny created belts and purses for a few years until she met Dale Harwood, one of the best saddle makers around. Her husband at the time owned some Harwood saddles and convinced the saddle maker to make Martiny a tree - the skeleton for a saddle to which the leather is attached.

 

好几年里,她制做皮带和手袋之类的小物件。后来她遇到当地制作马鞍的顶尖高手戴尔·哈伍德。马蒂尼的丈夫请哈伍德为马蒂尼做了一个马鞍架,随后又连求带哄,要他帮马蒂尼做第一只马鞍。

"I’m sitting here with this tree and I guess Dale decided that he didn’t want me to ruin this tree you know," she says, "and we conned him into helping me with my first saddle."

Martiny had tooled saddles before, but she’d never built one. So she’d work on the leather design at home and then she’d go to Harwood’s shop for advice.

 

马蒂尼过去加工过马鞍,却从来没有从头到尾制做一只马鞍。于是,她在家先设计好图案,然后拿到哈伍德的店里,请他指导。

"He’d walk me through things and I’d make little notes and then I had my little notebook after I got through this first saddle."

 

马蒂尼说:“他带我过了一遍所有这些制作步骤。到我完成第一只马鞍时,我在笔记本里记下了所有过程。”

That notebook became her holy grail of sorts.

 

这本笔记成了她的宝典。

"I got my nerve up and I started on a kid’s saddle and look at my notebook and when I’d get in a real wreck I’d call Dale and, when he had time, he’d help me and I’d get through. Well, I got them saddles built and then somebody would say 'Hey, why don’t you build me a saddle?’"

 

她说:“我鼓起勇气,参照我的笔记,先开始做儿童马鞍。当我陷入困境时,就找哈伍德。他如果有空,就会来帮我。我终于做出了马鞍。有人看到了,就会说,给我做一个怎么样?”

That’s how Martiny got into the saddle making business. Now some 20 years later, her customers usually find out about her by word of mouth. She doesn’t have a shop. She lives -- and works -- in the Pahsimeroi Valley near May, Idaho, on a ranch that’s been in her husband’s family for 120 years. Most of her customers are ranchers, cowboys and cowgirls who call the area home.

 

马蒂尼就这样开始制造马鞍了。如今一晃20年,她的客户通常都是藉着口耳相传找到她的。她没有开店,居住和工作都在爱达荷州梅市附近普西梅罗伊山谷的一个农场里。我们走近一座通风良好的老谷仓。这里是她存放马鞍的地方。她告诉我们,她的客户大多数都是以这片土地为家的牧场主和男女牛仔们。

"I guess that’s part of my success as a saddle maker and why men don’t hesitate to order a saddle from me," she says. "Because a lot of people who order from me know me or know of me, and know that I can rope a little bit, you know and when we’re talking about horns I know what you’re talking about, and fitting your horse."

 

马蒂尼说:“我之所以成为一名成功的马鞍匠,并且这些男子汉能毫不犹豫的向我定购马鞍,是因为他们认识我或听说过我,他们知道我也能使用套索,我知道他们谈的是什么,我知道哪种鞍适合他们的马。”

Many of her saddles are simple with the rough part of the leather exposed with a tiny bit of tooling. They’re meant to be ridden. Others have silver and intricate flower designs.

 

她制造的马鞍,许多都设计简单,只有一点雕刻,适合坐骑。另外一些则带有银饰和精细的花纹图案。

"I want a plain saddle to be considered beautiful just as a full-flowered saddle, so if someone says ‘Oh, your work is beautiful,’ I want that to mean all of the work. I hope that’s what it means. That would be my goal."

 

她说:“我希望设计简单的马鞍和满是图案的马鞍一样漂亮。如果有人说:你的东西真漂亮,我希望他们说的是我所有的成品。这是我的目标。”

Martiny is constantly working on other projects as she builds saddles. She makes chaps, bridles for horses and lately, purses. While Martiny might work in what many would consider a cowboy’s profession, she says that doesn’t mean she can’t make something more feminine once in a while.

 

马蒂尼制作马鞍之余,也做些其它东西,比如马鞭和马辔。最近还开始制造手袋。很多人会认为她做的是属于牛仔的工作,可是马蒂尼说,这并不妨碍她偶而也做些女性化的东西。