Notes from the leather art and craft world

The pandemic looks to be passed and the world continue with ”business as usual”,- also what concern leather art and craft. But on this small field ulike in the big world,  was not the pandemic a dead time. New arrangements have arose, and one have diseapeared. Most of the leather art and craft shows is arranged by a accosiations, some not. A example on a arrangement as not are organized by a accosiation is ELWATS= European Leather Workers and Artists Trade Show as before the pandemic looked to be a yearly  arrangement in Arnhem in the Netherlands with the american journal The Leather Crafters and Saddlers Journal as a driving force. The pandemic thwart progress, but in 2022 was it up and running again – and it will also be arranged this year. It’s the biggest arrangement of its kind in Europe. The content exist of a of a mix of short courses/classes held by european and american leathercrafters and artists – and every interested person of leathercraft can partisipate on them with no requierments for prior knowlegde. And you can have your own sales booth in connection to leather art and craft. It’s also a mix of european and american traders as have sales booth. I 2019, the year before the pandemic had the arrangement also a exhibition, as I not have registered after the restart in 2022 !. But this exhibition, as in 2019 looked to be a suksessfull innovation in the event, was not open to all, only cours/class teachers could patisipate,- but quite obvious is it a need for a wider exhibition as all interested, one way or the other, could partisipate on.


But it was also smaller arrangements in Europe for leather art and craft relative to ELWATS before the pandemic as the one on the old tannery in Allariz in Spain, as after the pandemic, looks to have fallen a sleep !- for a while? -due to a fire in the tannery!- and it have not started again which for the undersigner is conciered a loss , because this arrangement had a european tendency as you after the pandemic, despite energetic activity in spanish leather art and craft not have showed the same arrangement tendency !. But when it was underway ( in 2018) was it a exhibition of leather art and craft by a invited artist in a gallery in town . And crafters/artists could have a booth of own produced leathergoods in the moody atmosphere inside the enclosed front  yard which the medieval tannery building offered. And it was lectures about interesting topics. And a commom dinner was held every day under the arragement as lasted 3-4 days.                                                       *

On the other side of the globe, in Japan started a arrangement called International Leathercraft Exhibition, allmost under the pandemic. It is organized by JLCA= Japan Leathercraft Accosiation as is  relative new accosiation, founded in 2019 ! but ”the crew’ have long travel time in Japan leather art and craft. And some of the purpose with it is to bring the knowlegde to younger generations.The first exhibition, in 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic, so the first exhibition was in 2021, without audience !- and the second was arranged in 2022 and the third will be held in 2023. The event actually have several interesting details; it is open to all interested leathercrafters and artists from around the world- without that you must be member in a union in Japan -as you for example must be in Canada to patisipate on CSCL arrangements or in USA on the IFOLG shows. Exceptions in the USA is the World Leather Debut Exhibition in Sherian in Wyoming as is open to all interested.  But what concern the International Leathercraft Exhibition in Japan, unlike all other arrangement is JLCE making a exhibition catalog. It’s a great solution if you want to follow with on what is exhibited and who is exhibiting. But in comparision to ELWATS have I not registred that the  exhibition in Japan have short courses/classes.                                                         *

As already mentioned must you be a member in a american leather art and craft accosiation if you want to partisipate on the IFOLG shows= International Federations of Leather Guilds. If you not want to be member in a american accosiation can you form a accosiation where you live and be member of IFOLG and participate. But a couple try’s in Europe to form a european leather art and craft accosiation have not worked out so well. Leeder Guilde early in the 1990’s is one example. And ECGMAA in the 2000 is another. The ECGMAA was formet with a mix of european and american leathercrafters/artists in 2012/13 but  closed down 3 years after! in 2016. This european tryes stays in contrast, first of all to CSCL= Canadian Society for Creative Leather Craft – as during the pandemic took a step in a new direction and arranged the first? viritual leather art and craft exhibition in the world i 2021 and continued in 2022 and it’s no clear that it also will be such exhibition in 2023. The scheme briefly covers that a minimum of four photos of one work is submitted via e-mail to CSCL for accesment. Each partisipant can partisipate with 4 works and the same number photos of each work. But you must be a member of CSCL ” of good standing”  which means that the memberdue at least must  have been paid if you want to partisipate. If you live abroad can you be a ”General Member at Large”. CSCL  have different kind of member  categories and admissions criteria. And basically I think that CSCL is organized in a way as all union interested could learn something of. Think about it; all works in the accosiation is done volutary  and most of the members have leather art and craft as a mix of hobby and livelihood and it have keept it going since the 1950’s. CSCL have its own leather art and craft library. And had its 72 annual meeting in 2022. That is great.                                         *

A other arrangement as arose in the 1990’s and continue in the 2000′ is Dimension in Leather in Australia as in 2023 will be held for the 14 time in Brisbane on St.Leo College. It was arranged every two years until recently,  then it became each year.  The arrangement is organized by the Leathercrafters Accosiation Inc. in Queensland. This union was founded in 1985 with the purpose to promote leather art and craft. The first time they arranged a bigger arrangement as  Dimension in Leather was in 1994. It took 9 years from the foundation of the accosiation until it was ready to arrange such  big arrangement as Dimension in Leather . I think it speaks to every leather art and craft interested about, that it can be a long way to walk after a accosiation is founded until it can be ready to arrange a great event for the first time ; this written in case someone tumbles around with the accosiation idea for leather artists and crafters.  It can be a good idea and to have a goal with a accosiation foundation as is in the furture and as can be reached through many small steps. One thing as have developed particular for Dimension in Leather compearing to similar arrangements is that they offer a arrangements package as includs accomandation and three meals a day. Which do that you can have a tidy travel budget after that and  airplane tickets and fees are paid. And have a great stay ”in the land down under”. And not to forget concerning Dimension in Leather ; every partisipants on the courses/classes get a certificate in the hand after the class is over.