Slanted viwe on ELWATS 2018.
This years European Leather Workers and Artists Trade Show ( from now only ELWATS) was arranged in Arnhem, Netherlands from October 19 through 21 after that two preciding arrangement was arranged in Firminy , France in repectively 2015 and 2016 almost at the same time on the year. While it not was arranged in 2017, partly of unkown reasons. All together was it held 24 workshops (one workshop was cancelled) on the 2018 editions of ELWATS with all together 14 class teachers, divided over 4 days. The workshops startet october 17, while the official tradefair was from october 19 to 21. It was all together perhaps about 75-100 ! partisipants on the workshops, while the number of visitors probably was much larger than on earlyer years all the time it this year was in a Public Library ROZET to usual opening time without any form of entrance fee, something as was with on to give many a closer knowlegde to what modern leather art and craft is about, through a random library visit. I will belive it was popular between the visitors and awakened to a great deal of curiosity. But however it will come to increase the number of workshops or the number on partisipants on them or the proportion on the trade is a open question in the blue together with the question if it will be a new ELWATS arrangement in 2019 or 2020. Or if it at all will be arranged on new.
After what this magazin have experienced (writing moment october 2018) is it not signed any new contract concerning a new arrangement next year. So even if this years arrangement can be explained as a sucess looks it not so bright out for European leather art and craft by thought on bigger arrangement in the furture. To day is it not any european organisation as can arrange a similar arrangement for this type of leather art and craft as in much is inspired of american leather art and craft. You should perhaps remind about that it took 15 years from Leather 2000 in Waaljik in Netherlands to a new unifying european arrangement so daylight in Firminy in 2015. And that many of the todays workshops teachers begins to be veterans, without that you can see to much of a growing renewal. Still must you say it grows around this type of leather art and craft so it will hardly disseapper in Europe even if ELWATS should. All in all, had the promotor, the american magazin The Leather Crafters and Saddlers Journal with them 7 art/crafters/teachers from USA. 6 come from europe and 1 come from Japan. While it was 17 traders as amounted the tradefair, the most from USA or european branches of american companies. This trade fair was over several floors. If it was a good soloution is also a open question. Any reports about the trade is not published.
A other question of interest is if “big politic” also works in on a small arrangement as ELWATS?. It was no russians to see on this years arrangement. With big shopping bags on theyer way home. And regrettable must you also could say; no russians was eitgter listed as workshops teacher. The one is connected with the other and it gladly provide the third; visitors. On social media have you been able to see formidable works by russians leather crafters /artists. And it exist a russian english language texted magazin about leather art and craft. The first ELWATs in Firminy in France showed itself to also have a great value as a meetingplace, in the middle of a tradefair, where humans, really from all over the world could reunite around a hobby, work,or other were the material, craft, trade and learning was central . Also perhaps should it be reminded that ELWATS as a arrangement, besides Leather 2000 had its forrunners in smaller arrangement between european and american leather workers and artists in the 1990’s. A time were the information about arrangements still often reached the outskirt of europe a half year after it was over. But so exploded the computer age. And today you have information a half year before a arrangement start via a new term named “social media” as not know any borders and were comunication goes the whole world around at the same time. And a question is if it also have given the resultes that tradefairs have got a “social part” were humans as from before only knew about each other via the social media can meet in person. And in some cases can art and craft be seen “live” as before just was a picture on a screen. It’s a another open question what it means ?. But even if you now can communicate with the whole world inside of a time target of tenth of a second so have it little meaning by thought on that ELWATS in the writing moment is fare from beeing arranged in europe next year.
The road from Firminy in France to Arnhem in Netherlands have showed that it not only is communication it is all about, and that it does no matter, fore the social part that ELWATS is arranged on the same place each year; Roma Budapest, Wien, Praha, St. Petersburg, Lisboa, Madrid, Oslo, Stockholm is on the map. Europe is big enough to that it in the years as come can change from city to city. While it fore the trades part probably is more of a advantage that the arrangement is on the same place at about the same time each year. It is with on to make the arrangement predictable both fore the trade, workshop, visitors and the “social media” from year to year. Something as again makes it possible to plan and develop ideas the individual had to have. That this years arrangement was in a library trowed also a light on the spiritual side of the arrangement – and some clear lacks became visible; not one lecture was held. You can not go out from that, that nobody in the world have noting to say us about leather, art, craft trade and culture. Or to a whole new audience which occured in a Library and to the “social media”. Or you could say, to the potential a new audience as is around modern leather art and craft arrangements via sosial media. It was about 10 authors of leather art and craft publications present – as in many ways represent a litterature you not find in todays libraries, and as inccredible enough in the enlightet europe, is a kind of underground litterature, this authors also represent a great possibility to develop a leather art and craft litteratur platform. That it is like this, that nothing happen on this field of leather art and craft is not outstanding for ELWATS. If you look around in the world to leather art and craft arrangements so is books, magazines , litteratur and writing not on the program any place in any form. While the oposite should be case. There should be a construction of a litterature plattform inside the fairs as part of the free spirit life where it was high enough under the roof also to a houres lecture about the lateste news in the yearly Tandy catalog. It could be nice. It should not be heavenly demands to such arrangement concerning the content as in all simplisity will take years to build up. To understand the function of. The road to a functional platform can at least be long as to Firminy in 2015. In any case, that the arrangement is predictable from year to year can only be with on to strenghten ELWATS. The oposite, to improvice the arrangemet from one year to another will weakend it.