Hello I.I.L.G. Officers and members from around the world, this message is from Ben Hughes' oldest son Michael to inform all that my father has passed away at age 69 on Wed June 27th, 2007.
His love of sharing his experience and knowledge enabled him to keep it and continue to give it away to anyone interested. He talk with me about alot of you that he adored. And I'm honored to have had him as a father and a friend and further more to know my father made the IILG's hall of fame "Much Earned & Deserved". You may pass on my email address to anyone whom he touched that would like to share their experience's with me.
Keep on crafting on...
Regards and always the best to all,
Ben's bio in his words . . .
I attended Mastbaum Votec. High School in Philadelphia, PA as a youngster and worked in a variety of employment situations through the years. A serious car accident over 35 years ago got me involved in leather work while recuperating. Not only did I get involved, but I fell in love with the art of working in this medium. About 1990 I wanted to try art works that caught my attention to put in this wonderful medium. I found stone reliefs translated into the flexible medium of leather well. When I gave it a try, I not only found it enjoyable, but found it compelling and continued. Many famous artists' works and whatever else caught my eye or imagination and have been tried. It has been my privilege to donate a number of these works to a local school for the blind, where given the dimensional quality of the work, the blind could actually see the picture through touch. After some experimentation a more three dimensional achievement was arrived at and implemented in later works.
I have for many years had a keen interest in Leather work, Boating, Flying, Music, Painting and, of course, computers.
My most rewarding enjoyment has been in creating or reproducing Art in Leather. Through the years I've experimented with a wide range of paints, including oils, acrylics and some paints and dyes designed for Leather and the Arts and Crafts field. The combination on certain pieces works well. I have some pieces that are thirty years old and hold up well in normal conditions
- Ben Hughes
We Remember Ben Hughes
What sad news...
when I first joined this guild, over 9 years ago, Ben was a huge help to me in using this new fangled machine...always good advice, patient man always willing to help.
Ben helped to build this guild.
Ben will be missed, and remembered dearly...
vaya con Dios, amigo...
- Phil LeDuc
My father taught me as a child to never forget those who are good to you. Ben is one of those people to me. Never having met him in person, but having felt his kindness when helping me. I will truely never forget him.
The IILG has indeed lost a valued member. Many of you new folks probably won't recognize Ben's name as he has been too ill the last couple of years to participate very much in our guild. But rest assured Ben was one of the foundations that our guild was built upon. Through his efforts we built the base for the excellent website we now how and Ben did much of this work while he was suffering from several illnesses over the years.
I was proud to call him a friend and so pleased that he took over the website duties when he did. He will be missed but not forgotten.
- Thom Keach
I never met Ben in person; however, I felt like I knew him. He was always quite willing to help you with computer problems and, on occasion, he sent me snapshots of his screen to further explain some things regarding the computer and programs. When I was trying to decide which way to go with my website, he was right there to give valuable information. He also was very encouraging about my artwork. For those of you who didn't know him when he was our webmaster, you missed out on "knowing" a very special person. Besides his love of computers, he was also a leather artist (see our scrapbook). His contributions to our guild will truly be missed.
- Jan Herrbach
As many have previously stated, I never met Ben face-to-face either, but he was a dear friend. We had many telephone visits and, no matter what his circumstances were at the time, he was always upbeat and cheerful!
He truly loved the IILG & its members and was so deeply honored when he received the IILG Hall of Fame award. His great reqret was having to give up the position of Webmaster due to illness.
There were so many more things he wanted to do before he left this world. Beyond being a leather artist, "back in the day" he also had a country/western band, Ben Hughes & The Ramblin' Men, who cut a record some years ago! He enjoyed many of the oldtime radio shows, was always coming up with another idea on the computer, and never stopped enjoying life.
Ben was a treasure and I really miss those phone visits.
- Ruth Barkley