David Trotter Leather Design

leather as art

Almost Maple Fools

David TrotterComment

I am nursing a cold or possibly the flu at the moment. I may have picked it up on my journey to the west coast to visit my grandchildren in California and a further visit with some of my siblings and kids in BC. My sister was struggling with some kind of cold/flu when I was there, but I thought I got away unscathed. It was not to be. Two days after returning home I felt something coming on. Now it is full blown, with a deep cough located in my chest and stuffed up head and various aches and pains. I am managing to work in the studio every day in spite of being low on energy. 

The next event on my calendar is the Maple Fools Open Studio at the Cow Palace. On April 1st weekend, I whip up maple candy and other maple treats from maple syrup that I boil down on my wood stove in the kitchen. I am thinking of moving the sap-reduction- evaporation process outside though, as it can get overly warm and steamy in my living space at full boil. I try to get my buckets out on the maple trees before the end of February and that to me, signals the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Not long now.

I am starting on a commissioned wall sculpture based on the photo below of Black Bass Island on Georgian Bay. I plan on making two or three related pieces at the same time. I have several ideas on variations on this theme I would like to attempt, using some new techniques I have been experimenting with recently. I am anxious to get my hands onto some wet pliable cowhide. 

Black Bas Island , Georgian Bay ON  2016

Black Bas Island , Georgian Bay ON  2016

I have a few applications to fill out, for shows that I am hoping to attend this summer. I would like to do the two shows that I attended last summer in Toronto as I think they both have great potential for selling my work. Unfortunately it seems to take a couple times seeing my work and talking to me about my process and my ideas before people are comfortable enough to purchase a piece of my artwork. I can sell belts and accessories with no problem, but leather as an artistic medium is not something that most people are familiar with or comfortable with, until they have some time to think about it. Or if they see someone else has purchased a piece. They like what they see well enough, I get a lot of very excited people in my booth, but they aren't necessarily prepared to buy until they have seen my work before and understand what I am doing. We will see.

I am going to be teaching a leather course this summer at Haliburton School of Art and Design. Yes, I am now a faculty member of Sir Sanford Fleming College! Hopefully this will give me more credibilty. And it will be fun, as well as give me an idea about teaching my own classes at my studio this fall/winter.

So that was 2016. Interesting wasn't it...?

David Trotter1 Comment

2017 looms ahead of us like a dimly lit tunnel with a few faded pools of light at regular intervals leading further down into the mdarkness. What is going to happen in the world this year? We can only see a few feet into the tunnel where the last fading shadows of 2016 still lurk... Donald? Vlad is that you??

 How will this affect my business? How will it affect my work? What am I going to do to bring more customers to my studio? What shows should I attend to gain new customers and make more sales. What am I going to do to improve my exposure and get more excitement happening with my work? It all seems so pointless at times. But then I realize that this is what I do. This is what I have pinned my hopes on. This is what I have always wanted to be doing. 

The internet wasn't even a glimmer on the horizon when I started doing leatherwork in the late 1960s. Yet now it is a major part of a marketing plan for anyone even remotely serious about selling their creative work. This is where the rest of the world lives. This is where a million potential customers are waiting to see what you can do. It is a little daunting. When I first began doing leatherwork and dragging my leather to local craft fairs, a computer was a Texas Instruments calculator and my most distant customer lived 50 kilometers away.

I wasn't an early computer adopter and when I first had to start into the cyber world I was not a natural at it. I am still being dragged almost against my will into this online world. Yes, I have an ETSY store that needs dusting and some new product. I have a Facebook business page  'David Trotter Leather Design', I have an Instagram account that I just learned how to use and I am going to try to write a blog on a regular basis to keep things moving along... and I am updating and improving my website so I can sell through it more easily and it looks more professional.

New work for 2017. Oh yes. I have been thinking about new work too. I have lots of ideas. I can hardly wait to get started. My studio awaits. 

Meanwhile, I have to keep up with my online presence.

Let's see how it goes. I'll keep you posted.



Christmas Open House

David TrotterComment

 I have been working full time at my leather work for six months.


Nevermind that I have been working with leather for 45 years, almost 20 years of the 45 I was working at it full time, creating my own designs and marketing them myself. When I worked for 26 years in the electrical industry designing and supervising production of leather tool bags and pouches, I still created one of a kind sculptures in leather on my own time. Here I am, working in my studio in early November 2015, with the door open and the sunshine pouring in, getting prepared for my second open house since starting back at my life's work full time.


September 21, 2014

David TrotterComment

As the season changes to fall and the leaves start turning, I am working on a new piece based on a local series of barns. The summer was busy with the visit of my family and I have been out of my studio for too long. It feels good to be working in here again, although I am still scattered and have a hard time focusing on the work at hand. When the weather is nice it is too easy to slip outside to do something 

Durham County Barn

BarnsDavid TrotterComment

This sculpture is loosely based on an actual barn in northern Durham Region, Ontario.
I took a photo of this barn in the winter of 2007 and made the sculpture in the same year.
It is made of wet molded vegetable tanned split cowhide over a particle board and plywood form. 
The color is acrylic paint applied by hand when the leather is still wet. The texture has been created when the leather fibre/ acrylic surface is still damp.
The acrylic and leather fibre bond to make an extremely tough outer surface once dried