This article build on a article in The Euro*pean Leather, Shoe and Hide, Nr. 2, 2012.
It was a tendensy among some leathercrafters in Europe in the years of 1990’s by the union Leder-Gilde E.V. and members of the guild to make a kind of leather art and craft shows. The arrangement in the years of 1990’s involved a leather art and craft as was influenced of contemporary american leather art and craft. And the arrangements worked also as a meeting place between american and european leather artists and crafters in europe. But also folks from Japan, Taiwan, Australia and from else where was involved. Unfortunatley became Leder- Gilde E.V. splitted and by that fall its roll in a possible development of the tendensyes it brought with itself, also to establish a permanent yearly arrangement for this type of art and craft in Europe, on the stoneground.And the individual artist or crafter had to take more or less care on theyer own. The Leder-Gilde E.V. dissapeared out of the actual situation for leather art and craft in Europe. The last try to keep up with that type of of arrangement was in 2003. It’s 10 years ago, in 2013. It looks to be different oponions wheter the Leder-Gilde E.V. still exist or not. Even if it not have been active since 2003. And it’s unknown how this situation can influence on the leather art and craft to day. If the guild still exist so have it run in connected time from the founding in 1990 until 2013, in 23 years. It’s possible to divide this time in two periodes, rough, on 10 years each. The first and active periode from around 1990-2003 and a second and unactive periode from 2003-2013.
The initiative to the fouding of Leder-Gilde E.V. and the arrangement of the type exhibitions and woorkshops it promote can also be seen as a part of a world wide movement. About the same time, in 1994, started “Dimension in Leather” in Brisbane, Australia, as is arranged evry second year and for the 10 time in 2013. And in 2001 started the “World Leather Debut” exhibitions in Sheridan, Wyoming, USA. But the leather trade show at the same place started in 1993. And the “Japan Leather Art Forum Exhibition” in Tokyo,Japan started in 1982. Seen in a light of a world wide movement, looks it like 10 lost year for the same art and craft initiativ in Europe.
It have not been any new initiative after 2003 to make similar european arrangements as to day can be seen around the world. And as it was a tendensy to in the years between 1990’s to 2003. And in every perspective must it have been a loss for everyone involved in this business. But real do we not know anything about it. Any investigation of the living conditions in the leather art and craft trade have not been done.
One, of some interesting questions is about the number of european leathercrafters/artsits partisipaiting on the shows around the world in this two periods. Idea historical could it be part of a investigation of the living conditions in the term; ” In the active priode between 1990(3) and 2003 was X numbers of european leather artists and crafters partisipaiting. But between 2003-2013, in the unactive period was only X numbers of european leathercrafters and artists partisipaiting”. What the real number could be is not known. But it should be possible for the organisations of leathercraft and art arrangement around the world to figure out this. On the other hand is’t not possible in the time from 1990 to 2013 to measure up the value of the culture impulses the active period brought with itself. But it’s perhaps possible to mesure up the influence it had on the trade part of the craft, by take a look in the bookkeeping department. It’s also then possible to see the price the leather trade, craft and art have payed in the unactive period and pay, for example, without a yearly arrangement in Europe.But that is only the bookkeeping in euro and dollar. It’s still unmesurable on the cultural part of the matter.
Some of this unmesurable matters is the gap as rise between genration in the years where it have been any activity. But in a small and marginal art and craft of this type of leathercraft in Europe so is’t reasonable to belive that it not do any big difference, on how life work out. But that is a question, as not are possible to answer on, the difference it could have made. If Leder-Gilde E. V. still exist would I not wake it upto live again as a member union. But as a organisation to arrange a yearly leather show. It’s to day possible to learn about how to do it from those who have arranged this type of show around in the world in the time of the “ten lost year for leathercraft in Europe.