Bison Art Studio

Birmingham, Alabama · 66 Sales


Bison Art Studio

Birmingham, Alabama 66 Sales On Etsy since 2010

5 out of 5 stars

BisonArtStudio is taking a short break


Note from shop owner I will be closed for the holidays and reopen in January.

Note from shop owner

Last updated on Dec 20, 2016

I will be closed for the holidays and reopen in January.

David Byland

Contact shop owner

David Byland


Average item review
5 out of 5 stars

H H on Jun 9, 2016

5 out of 5 stars

This wallet is gorgeous. The leather is soft and looks and feels great. Communication was prompt and direct. Delivery super fast. Thanks for a great product

View all 38 reviews


My Story

Everyone has a story. For me, it includes the blessing of being married 35 years and the father of three beautiful daughters, three wonderful sons-in-law, and two amazing grandchildren. I’ve also had the pleasure of being a college professor for over thirty years. But I have also worked as a cowboy camp cook, feeding 20 hungry men and women at a time before and after a hard day riding. I’ve watched from horseback as the sunrise lit up Pike’s Peak, and rode hard to prevent a string of mules from “blowing up” when their packs began to slip going down a steep mountain trail. I have portrayed Teddy Roosevelt in a one-man show I also wrote. Based on his experiences in Oklahoma and Indian territories, I have brought one of our greatest Presidents to life for thousands of people. I also spend as much time exploring the outdoors as I can. In fact, it was an experience in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Preserve in southwestern Oklahoma that gave Bison Art Studio its name.

When I moved to Oklahoma over twenty-five years ago, I was camping in the boulder-strewn Wichita Mountains, home to free-ranging herds of elk, longhorn cattle, and bison. After banking my fire for the night and climbing into my sleeping bag, I fell asleep under a cloudless, full moon sky. Just before dawn I woke up. The moon was still shining and the ground was covered in a thin layer of frost. It was silent, except for the sound of low rumbling and an occasional explosive snort. I rolled over and saw a small herd of bison moving almost silently through my campsite. I was struck by their beauty and grace…their sense of calm confidence and power. To me, they symbolized what the American West had been and still was…strong, beautiful, and enduring. And though I live in Birmingham now, I’ve brought that Western aesthetic with me and continue to develop my art and my craft as a master leather worker.

It has been said that the things we surround ourselves with should look and feel beautiful. As an artist, I agree with that. I also believe they should endure. I’ve worked in various media…wood, photography, digital art…and they are all rewarding in their own way. But it was when I discovered leatherwork that I realized I had found the medium that really united all of my passions as a person and artist. Leather lends itself to practical use, but also looks and feels beautiful. It captures the romance of the old west, but is equally at home in the boardroom as on the ranch. Leather connects me to my love of the outdoors and the cowboy way of life, and gives me the privilege and pleasure of bringing that aesthetic to everyone I create a custom work of art for. Each book, or portfolio, knife sheath, or set of spur straps is created to last a lifetime. Each one is designed to capture the beauty of the leather using traditional western designs and modern motifs. Each one brings to you the timeless qualities of the Bison…strength, beauty, and endurance.


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Shop members

  • David Byland

    Owner, Maker, Designer

Shop policies

Last updated on June 7, 2016
Thanks for taking the time to look through my Etsy shop. The items listed on this site represent my best work, so whether you're buying something for yourself, or to give as a gift, be assured you are getting a high quality piece of work.

I started out making these journals for family and friends. I am blessed to have artists and writers in my family, so they have helped me design these journals to accommodate their various needs. I make all my journals from the best hides I can find. I use a variety of leather including oil-tanned/veg-tanned cow hide, and bison. For leather that needs to be dyed, I use a layering method of applying various colors of dye in several coats. I finish by hand-rubbing each piece with carnuba creme. This ensures a deep and complex color with a subtle glow. The game hides are not dyed, but left natural. All the leather has various imperfections...holes from insect bites, creases, scratches, uneven coloration, etc. This is part of the beauty of using natural products. Please don't purchase one of these journals expecting something like what you might find at the "Journal Superstore". This is high-quality, natural, and naturally beautiful leather.
The heavier leather will become softer with use and will also take on a beautiful patina with age. The softer leathers will hold up to the hardest use and still retain their soft, rustic beauty.

Unlike some other handmade journals, these journals are made with the writer and artist in mind. I use nothing but the best art paper and hand-cut and fold each piece. The journals have a medium 70 lb paper, ideal for illustrations and final drawings. The surface is perfect for any dry media and suitable for pen and ink. I currently us only Strathmore Drawing Paper.

I also make executive portfolios, Bible covers, spur leathers, business card holders, ID/Keyrings, and more. These, like the journals, are made of the best materials, hand carved and stamped, hand dyed, hand sewn, and hand finished. I can and do accept custom commissions, so please feel free to contact me if you have special leather needs, and I'll let you know if I can help.

Accepted payment methods

  • Pay with Visa
  • Pay with Master Card
  • Pay with American Express
  • Pay with Discover
  • Pay with PayPal
  • Buy with Apple Pay
  • Pay with Sofort
  • Pay with iDeal
  • Accepts Etsy gift cards
I accept Paypal and Etsy direct checkout. This is good for you and good for me. If you don't have a Paypal account, it is very easy to set one up.
I will ship your purchases to your Etsy address. This is the address that you list when you make your purchase on Etsy. Be sure to double check and make sure that is the address you want it shipped to before you finalize your purchase

I only list items I have in stock, so they will ship in 1-2 business days (weekends are not business days for me!) Because of the heavy import fees and all the paperwork associated with shipping leather goods overseas, I now only ship in the US.

Almost all of my journals fit into a USPS Medium Flat Rate Box. Those that don't, will go the next size up.
Refunds and Exchanges
I want you to be happy with your purchase, so I will give a full refund including shipping costs if the item is returned unused and in the original condition. BUT, you have to contact me before you return the item. And please be sure to let me know exactly what the problem is so I can make sure to correct it for the next customer.

Since you and I should have worked out all the special needs before the custom order shipped, I do not accept a return or issue a refund on that custom order.
Additional policies and FAQs
If you have any questions, please e-mail me at: david [!at]