Do you have that dress in your wardrobe that has been sitting there for several years, but you're not mentally ready to let go of it? Don't worry, we're not about to guilt trip you into giving it away – it might just be the inspiration you need to get your creative juices running.
This is exactly what set our featured artisan, Mary Daniels on the path of discovery that birthed some of the most innovative, timeless and amazing leather designs you've come across.
Mary has always been a fan of recycling and is an unabashed fashionista that loves to rock her own pieces. There's no doubt that this discovery, the connection between leather and upcycling, seemed like a match made in heaven and it was a calling she didn't hesitate to answer.
In this edition of "Featured Artisan," we interviewed Mary Daniels asking how her journey started, her source(s) of inspiration, and many more.
Our Interview with Mary Daniels
What inspired you to create your own collection?
There were several factors that inspired me to create my collection. One is the abundance of creativity that surrounds me every day. It was so much that I couldn't contain my ideas.
Creating just for myself wasn't satisfying enough. I wanted to share my leather art with others, so they too could experience the energy that I felt when wearing my designs.
Also, my friends and family encouraged me to create for others and let them see my art of unique creativity.
When and how did you start working with leather?
I started working with leather when I wanted to discard a garment. Not wanting to waste the fabric as it was in good condition, I started cutting it into pieces. The lambskin was so soft and flexible, so I said to myself, 'just make a strip to wrap around as a choker,' and that’s how the story begins.
I worked with that leather all day, cutting multiple strips and piecing them together into a complete neckpiece. I was amazed at the unique design and beauty of the red choker I had just created.
What drew you to work with leather for your craft projects?
Leather is so versatile in weight. The texture and the lightweight leathers are considered skins, and the thicker leathers are hides. So I have a choice when deciding how I want my design to look, feel and fall on the neck if I'm making a choker.
If it's a WristSprout (cuff), the hides give my design a more structured look and feel. Another reason I was drawn to using leather was because of my view of not discarding leather that is still in good condition and recreating something beautiful and wearable again as in recycling. Leather also looks better as it ages with proper care and durability which to me means my designs will be around for quite some time.
What do you love most about working with leather?
What I love about working with various leathers is the colors and richness of the fabric. Also, the naturalness of its scent makes me feel connected to its source. Some may find this interesting, but when I'm working with leather (skin to skin), I know I'm touching something valuable.
I appreciate the history – especially how long it's been clothing humans and keeping us warm for hundreds of years. How it's been used becomes more personal and respected.
This way, I know the effort I put into my work will be valued and hopefully passed on to someone else because of the beauty it exhibits, like a masterful art piece.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My inspiration when designing my collections comes from many places. I'm surrounded by the original Creator's designs. So, seeing all of His beauty created just for our eyes only is an inspiration and truly appreciated.
My eyes always discover something old or new, like the variety of flowers, seasons, and other shapes or tangible objects. A perfect example is my Monstera plant, which was an inspiring piece to duplicate using different colors of green and maneuvering my fabric to curve and fall into place as I intended.
The outcome was satisfying and led to a beautifully unique choker. There are so many reasons that inspire me to create my unique pieces!
What do you think is the most important part of your creative process?
The important process for me when creating is to remain open to being different. I don't want to be afraid of uniqueness, as it's an important part of being an artist.
I'm the creator of the ChokeherSkins brand. Therefore, when I sit at my machine, I may not even know what I'm planning to design, but that's the beginning of creating something unique.
It's like putting your thoughts on paper and reading them aloud for everyone to hear. I feel everyone should be open-minded about their creative dominance and not allow others to change their energy as an artist, which is being a leather jewelry artist.
What Are The Advantages Of Working With Leather Treasure Hides?
The genuine leather hides we use come with several advantages regardless of your skill level. If you are a veteran or you’re just creating an art piece, you are sure of creating something unique thanks to the leather’s quality. Also, it is extremely durable and it has a wide range of uses like - leather clothing, cosplay costumes, repair upholstery, craft leather accessories and more.
We source our leather from some of the finest and best Tanneries in Spain. Each leather hide is top-grade and they were hand selected by our Spanish team to ensure they meet our rigorous standards of quality. That’s not all, we ensure each leather skin has a unique finish and of an original character.
Why you may ask? The reason is not far-fetched, it’s because we want each creation that comes from our leather to have a true singularity. After selection, the leather hides are shipped to our warehouse in Arizona where they can be purchased by our eagerly awaiting customers. This way, you can always tell the source of your leather hides and you’re assured that our quality will never drop regardless of how large we expand.
Can Anyone Use Leather Treasure Hides?
Our leather hides are supple, thin, and lightweight, mostly being lambskin, and you can cut, mould or shape the material into any pattern you can imagine. If you’re a novice leatherworker or you’re just a DIY crafter, our leather can be sewn on your home sewing machine, meaning you don’t need any heavy-duty tools to work with it.
The only impediment to your creativity is yourself as you’re sure to come up with a masterpiece if you simply challenge yourself. We at Leather Treasure Shop offer many unique finishes such as; glittered, bubbled, metallic, snakeskin, embossed, rustic, and much more. The best part is that we are here for you. We are 5-star rated and offer great customer service, answering all of your questions before ordering to ensure you get the right hide for your project.
Now it is Your Turn
We hope this inspirational edition of our "Featured Artisan" will help you get started on that creative journey of your own. The feeling of creating a masterpiece from scratch or from recycled leather cannot be matched, so why don't you get started and share your craft with the world?