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Photo Album

Leather Lore - Common & Exotic Hand-Made Accessories! Click here for a detailed index!

Formerly www.heavy-leather.com

"Bringing History and Fantasy to life!"

Leather Lore, Inc.

P.O. Box 232

Coopersville MI 49404

(269) 548-7160

Red Raven

Awards

Honors

"Anything hand crafted is far more valuable than anything made by a machine. A hand crafted item contains not only the base ingredients but a part of someone's life, their psyche and their dreams."

July 2019: Temporarily not taking new orders. Have a special need? Contact me!

 

 

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About Heavy Leather Lore

This is a general history. For more details, see my online promotional package, or read about "Sir George". To learn more about our staff and friends, and see photos of everyone, go to our Photo Album!

My humble workbench, where the magic all happens!

Hi! I'm Chip, the owner and primary crafter here at Heavy Leather Lore! I'm glad that you stopped by to read about my staff and I, for I feel that we are more than a business, we are here to have a lot of fun, and take you with us! If you've ever visited our booth, I'm sure hoping that you went away feeling that your visit was fun! We put a lot of effort into not just crafting, but entertaining as well! So if there's anything you want to ask me or my staff, just ask! I do also personally portray two major characters: The honorable Sir George, and that rascally pirate Black Roger. Click on either to read more about them! And if you're looking for more information about how I started this business and why, click here!

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Who is "Sir George"?

Who is "Black Roger"?

The 1980's

How did I begin in leather crafting? Click here for the story...

Originally started in 1982 as "Heavy Leather" to outfit the Heavy Metal Band Ded Engine with black leather and studs, Leather Lore has grown to be one of the few specialty leather accessory shops still in existence!  All of our products are HAND-CRAFTED, none of that machine stamped generic stuff!  High Quality and proven innovative design have made pieces of Leather Lore sought after around the world!

Recently found in the archives, the original Heavy Leather Catalog from 1982! Click photo for details!

 

The 1990's to Today

 
In the early 1990's, I discovered Renaissance Faires and Medieval Recreationism. I fell in love! Being a student medieval history and after venturing to many faires, I soon discovered that my skills were at least comparable to other craftsman, and my ambition for accuracy and fantasy greater than most. What got my attention is that very few were interested in the art, and too many were just into pushing mass produced machine imprinted junk - no one was making many items that I considered necessary to a true recreationist, be them factual or fantasy, and so Leather Lore was born!
I take the trouble to research and make true items from history, some near museum quality! And I delve greatly into fantasy as well, taking on the projects that others shy away from!

My tent is even hand made, and is decorated like a medieval shop! My helpers and I do our best to recreate the "life" of our ancestors, right down to the talk, mannerisms, clothes, foods, and decorations. We do demonstrations, and even put on little "shows" of our own! We even camp out in it, cook our own meals, the whole shot! (No, we don't hunt on the grounds, our usual hunting grounds are the local A&P store!)

My humble workbench

We make all kinds of leather accessories with something that will suit your needs. Our specialties include (but are not limited to) Gothic, Medieval, Biker, Pirate, and Renaissance styles of leather goods. From pouches to saddle bags, belts to scabbards, spikes to conchos, cigarette to watch cases, knife sheaths to beer can holsters, minor club wear to crafty decorations, we do it all! We can also do some repair work, and really have fun creating new items just for you!

The Apprentice workbench

Even though our stuff is all hand made with the best materials and care that personal craftsmen can provide, we keep our prices reasonable in order to compete with all the machine stamped stuff you can find elsewhere! Take a look around, and tell us what you think! We check our email daily, so please ask questions! Want to see us in person? Check out our show schedules!

 

Click the trophy to see our awards and honors! All of our products are HAND-CRAFTED, none of that machine stamped generic stuff! High Quality and proven design have made pieces of Heavy Leather literally sought after around the world!

 

PERSONAL HISTORY AS A CRAFTSMAN, MY MOTIVATION AND APPROACH

    In the 1970ís my dad took up western leather craft as a hobby. In 1980 I became affiliated with a heavy metal band that could not find the black leather and stud work that they needed. I gained access and skill from my dad, and began designing and supplying the band with their needs. I soon found myself selling bracelets and such at clubs and later in magazine ads through the Ď80ís and early 90ís. In 1994 I discovered the Michigan Renaissance Festival, and have been hooked since. Too often I would see people laying out big bucks for leather items that I thought could be done with a little better quality and attention to detail. I began toying with the idea of digging out the leather stuff and getting back into it. It soon became obvious to me that you could find leather armor for men all over the place, but very little for the ladies. With the advent of the Xena television series and such, I decided that would be a market for ladies leather armor, and that I could make something cool AND practical. I started researching womenís fashion and form and went through two failed prototypes before I came upon the fully adjustable design that allows stiff hard leather to comfortably fit nearly every woman that has tried it on! After seeing the response of other crafters, and upon the advice of my friends, I filed for a patent on certain functional elements of the design. But that wasnít enough to satisfy my artistic drive.

Thatís when I saw the chess box. All I saw was this small black and white photo and a paragraph barely describing it. Efforts to locate the real thing had been fruitless. None the less, working from the sources at hand, I set out and accomplished the chess box featured in my photos. I was very proud of myself, and realized that with the great accomplishments of the chess box and the ladies fantasy armor top that I could do just about anything I want to in this craft.

    Even though it was still a hobby to me, experiments with eBay proved that I had something people wanted, and so I set out to get into some festivals. MRF didnít want to look at me. Not realizing that there were smaller festivals around I about gave up. Right then someone told me of the Silverleaf festival in Kalamazoo, and so I tried for it - and got accepted in 2001! The tides of life forced me to cancel it due to not being able to have any product ready. They told me to come back next year; I was already confirmed.
    In January 2002, I was suddenly in a position where I could concentrate full time on the craft, and that is when I went into a full time business, and I had a heck of a first year!
    Wow, this was supposed to be short, sorry. As for work philosophy, youíve probably gathered most of it already. But let say that I donít want to create the same stuff that everyone else does. I want my own things. Nobody makes the Chess Box. Nobody makes the ladies armor fit like I have. Somebody must, but Iíve not seen it yet. Sure, I make common things too, like ring belts, weaponís frogs, and drawstring pouches, but I donít concentrate on those. In fact, I often recommend other crafters at the festival for many items. I like to find and fill the niches, make the things no one else does, tackle the projects other stay away from, not make the same stuff other people make. My booth even is like a little medieval leather shop, and I believe in the performance and the setting as well as the product. As a ten year manager of a retail photo lab I understand the importance of the customer satisfaction as a whole, and in the festival setting that means the experience as a whole, as well as the product.

 

 

 

 

I listen to the music of

 

 

Miscellaneous and Legal

Lest we Forget...

Lest we forget...

(click photo)

 

PROTESTERS take notice: No animals were hurt or killed for the creation of these products; leather is a by-product of the meat industry! If I didn't make stuff out of it, it'd just get thrown away and wasted!

This website is presented in the English Language, in order to best communicate with the most people in the most places.

Prices are subject to change without notice. All images, photos, web designs, layouts, leather designs, and all other images and property contained herein  are Copyright © 1982-2019 by Leather Lore, Inc., unless otherwise noted. All Rights are Reserved. Duplication in any manner of the website in whole or in part, and/or any of the objects and/or images/merchandise depicted or displayed within is a violation of federal law. Contact: Leather Lore, Inc.  PO Box 232 Coopersville MI 49404 (269) 548-7160 or EMail me! Ask to be put on my email newsletter list!