Starting on Friday afternoon of last week and going all weekend, East Vancouver artists and artisans (what is the difference between the two?) hosted the 17th annual Eastside Culture Crawl.
While I am not really a “culture crawling-type” of suburbanite, I knew that a Facebook friend, Steven Enns, owner and operator of Hand & Sew
had opened his work space to the public and seeing as I really wanted to meet a Facebookie friend in real life (IRL), I headed to 393 Powell Street in Vancouver where in fact I did get to meet Enns (pictured to the right).
Steven handcrafts a variety of leather goods; from simple key lanyards and Field Notebook covers to belts and wallets to very beautifully crafted leather bags, Enns creates.
One of the very cool things about Steven’s work is that he does much of his work with natural cowhides (uncoloured or not yet dyed). He had a new handcrafted wallet made in the natural cowhide and beside it a similar wallet in a rich brown colour on his display table.
I asked what dye he had used to get the rich brown colouration and I was very surprised to learn that the rich brown wallet was not dyed, it was made from the same leather as the light wallet.
The difference between the two was that the dark brown wallet had become coloured from use.
Apparently the natural oils we have on our hands darkens the leather. Through use and time the leather had darkened to a lovely rich colour.
As I said, not only does Enns make simple wallets and key lanyards, he also makes more complicated items like small bags. Now that I have taken the time and effort to make myself a couple leather bags, I am more than a little impressed with the work he had on display.
It was very cool to meet a Facebook friend in real life especially when it was in his creative workspace.