“Nothing compares to a beautiful conversation with a beautiful mind”Let me take you back a few months, to when I had the opportunity to spend the day with this awesome soul. Meet Hannah. She, along with her partner Adam, are the heart, brain and muscle behind Black Spruce Leather. I first met Hannah when I was wandering through Creative Chaos (a huge craft fair in Vernon) this past June. I was searching for something to buy my Dad at the time for his upcoming birthday. I was immediately drawn to Hannah and her leather work, as it had a very outdoorsy and adventurous feel to it, which was a perfect fit for my Dad. I later learned that Hannah and Adam are also Geologists and have spent countless hours in the field; the wild – the mountains! Hannah’s closeness with nature is a huge part of the inspiration to each piece that she crafts.
So that day at Creative Chaos I found my dad the perfect gift and I also decided to share with Hannah this series that I was working on, (Expressions Of An Artist) and I asked if she might be interested in being a part of it. It felt strange for me to put myself out there to a stranger but she agreed and away we began to plan our next meeting.
We decided to plan our visit on a day when I could see her at work in her shop, as well as at her local (Vernon) market which she is regularly a part of during the Summer. Now I’ve never been a fan of the huge “perfect” looking houses. I’ve always loved the small and cozy houses. The old cottage style homes. So my jaw literally dropped when I arrived to their place and stepped out of my van and took in all that was around me. It was the sweetest house on a beautiful piece of property at the edge of town. There were so many little nooks and crannies to the property and to the house and with its view overlooking the country side, my goodness! I was in love and yes I wanted to move in.
After a tour of the property, Hannah then led me to her shop and began showing me step by step what was involved in making one of her beautiful leather belts. I mentioned at the beginning of this post that she is not only the heart and brain behind Black Spruce Leather but also the muscle. Well I didn’t say that for nothing. When Hannah got to the point of punching the holes into the belt, she asked me if I wanted to punch a hole. Yes of course. I would love to, I said. Well I tried with all my might and muscle and could not for the life of me punch one whole in that belt. She however, made it look easy. Seeing first hand the amount of time and energy and strength required to make even just one belt was extremely eye opening. They do everything by hand. It’s amazing really.
I’m so glad that I got to see Hannah set up at the farmer’s market that day as well. It allowed me to understand more fully just how much time and passion that table of hers held. Hannah’s table was carefully and wonderfully displayed, full of all sorts of her handcrafted works of art. Each piece now, holding a whole new added value to me. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. SO much time and passion put into each and every piece.
Hannah and I connected quickly and with so much ease that day. I think she even invited me to stay for a bbq dinner that night but I knew if I stayed, I might never leave. It was such an honour for me to have her share with me her process. I urge you all to go check out her website at Black Spruce Leather and view their amazing leather products and read more about their story.
As many of you who are following this series might know, the double exposed film photos that I take of each artist, is one of my favorite aspects of the project. So here below for you, are a few of those film photos, exposed twice, just for the fun (and love) of it!!!