fine leather craftsmanship
hello once again !!
thank you for taking the time to read " a bit about who I am". many times i have been to a store, an art gallery or an antique shop and more often then not i run into a piece that draws my attention and a series of inevitable questions always follows. I wonder who made it? how did they make it? and how did they learn to do that? when you find the object that catches your eye it is like seeing a reflection of the individual who created it. when you see the skill and complexity of the piece one can imagine the time it must have taken to make. more often than not the technique often reveals that the artist of craftsmen who created it, must have had a long journey to reach that level of proficiency.
"eight years in the making"
where to begin, I first started in this wonder full journey at the request of a high school agriculture teacher who asked me to braid him reins for his horse when he saw me braiding a bracelet for a friend. and so it all began and it only took about 8 years !!! i soon began researching leather braiding and after a brief six years in the military i was happy to ship the reins and a few extras.
"a dog collar and a tool bag for PJ"
soon after the military i walked into one of my local leather retail stores with the intention of purchasing supplies to make a dog collar for "Chango" the family dog, and leather to make a tool bag for a friend. this turned out to be something great. i was sson invited to teach a class on braiding every other weekend to compliment the leather working class that was offered to patrons of the store.
not having students interested in braiding all the time lead me often to become the student and soon enough i was tooling leather in classic western style and making small projects here and there. as they say, "long story short" i got hooked !!!!!
"Just a shack"
one day one of my siblings moved in and took over my leather room so i set off to the building supply ware house "just to get enough materials to build a "shack" where i could relocate my leather room. like they say, "don't go grocery shopping when your hungry" for me its more like don't go to buy materials when you got extra cash and people willing to help you spend it. with the help of my uncle and cousin we ended up with some thing more than a shack and a much lighter wallet. this is now my beloved work shop which needless to say had to be out fitted with Tools and equipment !!! awesome !!
after a few years of practice, reading, research, countless projects and more research I found my skills had developed full circle from simple braiding to designing/drawing, making patterns, prototyping and making custom hand bags,wallets, shoes, brief cases and yes the occasional saddlery items when requested. So after much deliberation and over coming the thought of turning my beloved craft into a simple routine. I started snapping a few pictures, sketching a few ideasand before i knew it, Laguna leather works was born. having a work shop, plenty of tools and a few extras I gathered helped along the way.
"more than just leather"
besides spending time in my work shop, I still teach classes on a few more things besides braiding. cooking is one more thing i really enjoy and being the eldest of six i was always afforded the opportunity to practice a bit. Mexican food is my favorite, did i mention i was born in Mexico? well more specifically my family comes from "la comarca lagunera" which is more or less in the north/central region. I also owe the US army a great deal for the skills from which i make my living. I was able to become the distinguished honor grad of the Department of defense Biomedical Equipment Maintenance Technician course in 2005 and later served with the 47th combat support hospital. at present time i specialize in the dental field servicing, repairing and in general being the go to guy for all equipment related to this specialty, from the chairs to the x-rays.
thanks for your time and dont forget to check out the "how its made" section as well as the "gallery" you might find a bit "more" about me in there.