The Leathers I Use
I specialize in what I call "pro-impact" leathers. These are leathers that have environmentally and socially responsible attributes that are moving us in the direction of harmony and balance with the planet that sustains us all.
Free Range Leathers
The deer, elk and moose leathers I use are all from game animals that are legally hunted and used for their meat. There are many benefits to these leathers....these hides are sourced from animals that are living a quality life that is very much in harmony with our planet. They are not only a valuable renewable resource, but also a source for healthy organic meats. Also, the money and other resources generated from conservation due to legal hunting are immense.
Hunters and hunting have played and continue to play a VITAL role in land conservation in this country! Through my work I hope to educate about the incredibly beneficial link between hunting and conservation and the limitless potential it holds for moving our planet back in a healthy direction...
Low and No Chemical Leathers
I seek to provide alternatives to many of the modern chemical laden leathers. Traditional tanning methods (turning a raw animal skin, or "rawhide" into leather) are out and out HARD WORK!...yanking and pulling and beating and stretching...and then some! Natural dyeing processes are labor intensive as well. In modern times, most of those labor intensive practices have been replaced with chemicals that speed up the process and make it "easier", but at a high cost to our planet.
The methods used to create the low and no chemical leathers I use range from techniques that are ancient- 1000's of years old and 100% natural- to techniques that are simply lighter on the earth and more in alignment with the health of our planet. Leathers in this catagory include:
Vegetable Tanned Leathers
Brain Tanned Leathers
Bark Tanned Leathers
Alum Tanned Leathers
In alignment with the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle principle, using these leathers helps to close the loop in the waste stream. In other words, the less waste we create, the less we are putting in the landfills and the more efficiently we are using our planet's resources as a whole. The repurposed leathers I use have various sources. One of the main sources is Carroll Leather Goods, a local clearinghouse for leather scrap. They purchase leftovers from companies in the furniture, car, glove, boot, leather accessories industries and more and then sort it all by size and color for resell.
Other sources include purchases from thrift stores and the like or leather that is passed on to me from friends and friends of friends who know I do leather work. I also use the scraps from my own larger projects as efficiently as possible.