December 11, 2009

Lincoln Heller

I began working with leather in an Alaskan logging camp, making tool pouches from discarded boots. When I came back to Vancouver I began filling leather bag orders for men. Now I have developed my own line of accessories for men and women that emphasize the sculptural properties of vegetable tanned leather.

I use vegetable tanned leather for my products because it is cured with vegetable tannins, unlike the chromium baths of conventional leather. I buy undyed hides so I can create custom surfaces without the chemical saturation that industrially finished products endure.

The surfaces of my leather goods are fashioned by hand. I make impressions with recycled objects and blend coloured dyes to create unique mottled finishes.

My minimalist approach to construction is very important, there are no tricks, no glue, no linings, no synthetic replacements. I use very basic materials; leather, wood, hardware, and thread. Before refinement these materials occur on this planet, and my hope is they will, over time, decay naturally.

Functionality and longevity are most important. I aspire to create things that do a job well and for a long time. I resent disposability and planned obsolescence, and think today’s climate of self-serving convenience is breeding the waste that is stuffing our landfills.

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