September 30, 2014:
A question posed to Dustin Spencer, owner of Vermilyea Pelle. Dustin crafts stunning leather goods from sustainable old world materials using tools and methods pulled from a rich history.
FCL: Why leather?
DS: I used to spend a lot of time in my Grandpa’s horse tack room as a little kid. I was enthralled all the leather goods in that room and in awe with how each piece (some being as old as my Grandpa) had a story to tell. A lifelong obsession had begun.
When I was 6 or 7 years old, I began making small leather goods with scraps that I would acquire from shoe repair shops, yard sales, and from my Grandpa. Leather is perhaps the oldest medium used to manufacture goods. It’s rich in character and durable. As I got older I got a lot better at sourcing the leathers I would use for my own goods; searching for the highest quality and most unique tannages. I began acquiring hides from Italy, Spain, England, in addition to here in the States.
The smell of fine leather is intoxicating. Like a fine bronze sculpture, it develops a rich patina over time. It cries out to be touched, assaulting your senses with its siren song... I now spend every day reliving my childhood as I craft leather goods that will someday develop a complex character of their own; each as unique as the person using it.