I like to experiment on a leather project here and there, and even though I can make some things really well, I know my limits. After experimenting, I get better, gain more knowledge, but my amateur status is never more evident than when I meet a true master of the craft.
One such master is Larry Olmstead of entermodal. Larry is one of the nicest folks you could ever meet, and he’s a wealth of knowledge and skill in the leather-working trade. I spent a few visits in the shop talking about leather, processes, mechanization vs. hand made, but I mostly just stood in awe of what was going on in there.
As you can see from the photos, so much is done by hand - cutting, stitching, forming. It’s an fascinating process to see how the raw materials become such a beautiful object. The process takes a lot of hours, patience and attention, and when it’s complete - the final piece is amazing. All materials are carefully chosen and thoroughly researched, ensuring everything is made in the most conscientious way.
Larry’s also working on some new experiments with waxed canvas and leather that utilize some ingenious construction methods – on one bag he’s building, there’s zero canvas material waste – every bit of one yard is used. Just one example of the depth to which Larry thinks about the craft of bag making.
If you’re ever in Portland, you can see his work (and most likely him) on display in the space he shares with Halo Shoes at 938 NW Everett. Want to learn some things yourself? He also hosts leatherwork classes. Some more info and pics here at the entermodal facebook page.