Friday, July 3, 2009
It all Started with These
I recently finished out a year of running an Art Program at Siloam Mission to take up leather crafting full time. Much of my inspiration began with this program. Our program received 15 boxes of scrap leather in early August 2008. At this time I had been thinking often on wanting to take up leather craft. I began playing with the leather scraps and instantly connected...it was strange really...I have tried many different creative mediums over my life, but none compelled me like this one. I was hooked.
One of my fellow co-workers led a baby Moccasin workshop for the program participants. After undertaking this process, I was compelled to make my own moccasins. This evolved into lace up boots, of which I have posted photos above. This process led me to begin researching the history of moccasin and shoe making, as well as to think further on the resourcefulness of those who lived close to the Earth and used what it provided to meet various survival needs.
The process of making my own boots was very empowering. It connected me to a rich cultural history which is kept alive today. It also enabled me to reconnect to the Earth and its resources. Out of this head space, my leather crafting was born.
After the lace up boots, I decided to try making mukluks to see me through the winter. These are the fur lined mukluks that took me well over 40 hours of love and trial to complete.
After the Mukluks, I began making a variety of belts, bags and other shoe styles. I love working with deer, cow, lamb and buffalo hides. Isaac makes our buttons from Saskatoon berry bushes, and I also incorporate Paua shell from New Zealand.
I hope you enjoy my leather creations! I definitely enjoy creating the various pieces. I do everything by hand and make every piece unique. Like people, no pieces are alike and often the piece will find the person well suited for it.
More to come later...