Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Smell of Leather

I was working in my studio last night when my husband came down with a friend of his, who immediately, upon poking his head into the studio, asked if I did leather branding and tooling. With leather strewn about the studio floor and tables, even hanging from the ceiling, I just said "yep" to which he responded, "it smells like it."

That familiar smell of leather, which I loved so much as a child. I remember the first time I really, really, was engulfed by the smell of leather. I was 13, and we were on a family vacation in Guatemala. I think we were at the biggest market in the city - it was underneath a plaza, so all the smells (both good and bad) were trapped below ground. There was an entire section of leather workers, and the aroma of leather was overwhelming. It is something that, every time I'm overcome with the smell of leather, I think of. There is something comforting about it.

I often get the same comment from customers - that they love how my pieces smell. It's a combination of the leather itself, the dyes, and the finish coat, but they do have what I find to be a faint and pleasant smell. Though I can imagine to anyone who isn't around it 365 days a year, it's a little more noticeable. For me, though, the faint smells of my own work are relaxing - the studio is my peaceful time. The overwhelming smells of leather like those I experienced in Guatemala, are transporting. They bring me back to my first mass exposure to handmade leather goods. To being a child, and to being in one of the most interesting and incredible countries I've ever visited.

Oh yes, and I listed my sale item today, so go check it out :)

7 days of work in the real world left, then more stories about leather, inspiration, and things of the like.

2 comments:

Jaime said...

I am definitely one of those " love the leather smell" people!

N Valentine Studio said...

Being a horse person leather brings back a lot of memories! I remember sitting beside my grandma on the back porch cleaning my saddle, her shucking peas. It's interesting how smells can take us to a whole other place.