Egyptian tombs, dating back to 5000 B.C., were decorated with wall paintings that showed sandals, bottles, shelters and more made of leather. In Roman times, shields for soldiers were most likely made of leather rather than heavier metals. During the Middle Ages, leather was used to cover chairs for its ease of cleaning; but, also, because doesn’t hold onto odors. In late ‘20’s, the first leather motorcycle jacket was made by Harley Davidson solidifying leather as a symbol of rebel culture.
As civilizations evolved, new ways of manipulating the appearance of leather, for purpose and for beauty, was often possible because of its strong, durable properties. The strength of leather comes from a unique structural composition made up of millions of tiny fibers, grouped in together into even thicker fibers; all being woven together in an intricate pattern. These patterns create channels allowing air to flow through, perspiration to pass and provides elasticity. This is why leather typically lasts a life time, if properly cared for.
For almost four decades, Jan Hibbard, owner of Log Cabin Leather (named for her studio space at her homestead of a log cabin), has been complimenting the durability of leather with captivating hand-made carvings of landscapes, geometric patterns and wild life. Once the carving is complete the leather canvas transforms into functional items; such as wallets, guitar straps, belts and other leather goods.
The art of carving on leather began for Jan when she stumbled on a “how-to” book in the late 70’s. That $2 book then led Jan to local suppliers and the start of her business. From there, she taught herself how to perfect her talents and grow the quality of her brand. Log Cabin Leather has now grown to become one of the best-known companies in the North East for functional hand tooled leather accessories and has been featured by NBC, FOX, and the Huffington Post.
At Log Cabin Leather, the process begins with selecting a quality, leather canvas that will complement the art being created. Much of the inspirations comes from the beautiful Devonshire landscapes in NH that surrounds the studio with its wild open moors, deep valleys and dense forests. Patterns are used for the animals, but the scenery and composition of the picture is always different being hand done. The more detailed trees, rocks, mountains, animals or the smaller the picture the more focus and talent it takes to carve.
The finishing touches come from the choice of colors that often are thought of when the piece of leather is selected. “Carving the nature scenes onto the leather is a craft, but painting the scenes is an art, “ Jan explains. Every painting is as different as every hide and its inconsistency’s makes working with the fabric always dynamic. When the paint is absorbed, a protective coating goes on to ensure lasting beauty.
Each product from Log Cabin Leather comes down to a combination of elements: inspiration from nature, the right selection of hand-tools, quality craftsmanship and patience to make each piece a unique work of art. View Log Cabin Leather’s full line of leather artistry on its website that includes additional collections of originally arranged geometric patterns, scenes of the rain forest, Artic wildlife, and native American items. To see the quality and beauty up close, stop by the Log Cabin Leather booth- Dec. 8-10 at the MetroWest Festival of Trees, Best Western Royal Plaza Trade Center, Marlboro, MA. Often Jan will be working on new creations during the event so you can see her artistry in action.
Stay connected to Log Cabin Leather through its social media sites and online orders are accepted at www.logcabinleatherbyjan.net
Frances Henderson brings a niche of Nantucket and things nautical through her scene-scapes of sea-salty grey, shingled, light houses to patches of mosaic flowers decorating shore lines. Her work celebrates seafaring symbols of majestic whales, magical mermaids and oceanic emotions of this nautical community.
For the life of a sailor here, Nantucket was once one of the richest whaling community in America. The nutrient ocean that intertwined with the grassy shore edges made it delicious for right-whales to graze from autumn to spring. For the sea mystic, the maze of shallow pockets of water that surrounds the island made fools out of any sailor’s nautical abilities with many wrecks crashing up on its shores. And when there are sea tales of shipwrecks, there are often the mythical luring of mermaids who either charm sailors to their underwater kingdoms or rescue them to bring good fortune. As you step into Henderson’s gallery, her oil paintings echo these island attributes through the stillness of sight.
From a young age, Frances was drawn to art while growing up on Cape Cod. After graduating from Boston Art Institute, Frances applied her artistic talents and degree towards advertising; but she always had her passion for canvas work. Eventually, Frances left the advertising field to focus more on her own artistic creations.
Frances then discovered and joined a few local art groups who vendored at outdoor craft markets. In joining the Copley Society of Art in Boston, she displayed her work at her first outdoor market and was delighted to sell several pieces in one day. With this success, she then joined a touring company of about 50 artists who traveled across the USA.
After 20 years of touring and building a base of clients from coast to coast, Frances settled her time between her two studios, one on Cape Cod and another inland in MA. For the past 15 year, Frances’ work has celebrated Nantucket’s winsome elements, painted on a recyclable canvas such as old doors, driftwood, windows, and other recyclable materials.
Each one of Frances’ pieces is unique but similar variations are typically available. The charm of the black and white skyline of dock series could be etched within the outline of whale or on a saline-saturated, old window; each setting lending itself a new personality towards the artwork. Another series piece spotlights a serene mermaid painted on an old door that can lightened up a focal point in a business or add a mystical quality as a headboard in a bedroom. Light houses and rolling dunes captures the island sea worthy personality complimented by a palette of colors each painted as different as each sunset in nature. Frances’ work brings unique visual treasures of Nantucket’s charm and its nautical companions to compliment any space.
Frances displays her work mostly at artisan craft shows throughout the Northeast. Stop by her booth at the Metrowest Festival of Trees and Holiday Sampler Show benefiting the Metrowest Boys and Girls Club December 8, 9 and 10th. The family friendly holiday show will be at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center- 181 Boston Post Rd. (WEST), Marlborough, MA
For more info, contact Frances Henderson at:
Hannon Made is a woodworking company founded by craftsman Joshua Hannon, a self-taught wood worker with nearly a decade of experience. Every piece from Hannon Made is individually crafted in my Greenfield, Massachusetts workshop.
“I hope to make the experience of buying a piece from Hannon Made as personal and involved for our clients as it is for me. We want your piece to not be in your home, but rather a part of your home.” –Joshua Hannon
Hannon Made is family affair, with Joshua’s wife, Sara, helping behind the scenes. Even his young son helps out in the shop, where appropriate.
Joshua wants his customers to be a part of the process involved in everything he makes. “We will gladly send emails along the way, with updates and pictures to keep (our customers) in the loop.” he notes. Hannon says he loves seeing customers’ pictures of his finished projects being enjoyed in their “forever” homes.
At Hannon Made, quality and durability are just as important as the aesthetics of each piece created. Joshua hand selects and mills each board used from a local lumber yard, which features a large assortment of rough cut domestic hardwoods as well as exotics. Although some pieces may have a twin, no two pieces are exactly the same.
Interested in viewing Joshua’s work? Visit him at Paragon’s Metrowest Holiday Sampler Craft Show, December 8 through 10 at the Best Western Royal Plaza
Hotel & Trade Center in Marlborough, MA. Visit Paragon’s website to receive show updates and discount tickets.