Back in New Mexico in September, Daniel Milnor took me to see the great Arthur of Renaissance Art. Arthur creates fine handcrafted leather books and bags, is the creator of the Smogranch journal and Dan-Bag, and I was very much looking forward to our visit.
The second I enter the great workshop of Renaissance Art, I was overcome with a great urge to create. The workshop is filled with leather, tools, workbenches, samples, books in production and everything is just fabulous and so beautiful. While Arthur worked on the Dan-Bag and other stuff, I amused myself for hours making Gladiator arm bands out of scrap leather! Awesome fun for everyone. Well for me anyway.
I had a few things in mind to purchase, although being in the shop makes you want to buy every journal in there. I have a real journal fetish. Arthur made two outstanding leather goods for me. My FBJ journal cover and a custom-made one-off Diario del Perú cover. I have kept a journal (in all kinds of shapes and sizes) for many years, always writing down observations, notes, ideas, thoughts wherever I went and I love that I now have a personal gorgeous version. Handmade, one-off unique journal cover. My Diario del Peru book is a special book to me and I hoped Arthur could make a special cover for me. He modified one of his existing journal design to create a truly stunning cover that I truly treasure. Both journals are made of Italian leather, called bomber flight jacket leather (I think) and it is thin, soft, and beautiful. Changes the way it looks with time and wear and use, simply stunning. The fact it is handmade and unique work of arts and I witnessed the entire process adds tremendously to their value. In an era of plastic wrapped factory produced crap, this is special. Personal, meaningful, has a history, something I will appreciate everytime I pickup my journal to write or read my Peru book. I hope to re-visit Arthur next time and buy more gorgeous journals.
Visit Renaissance-Art.com to see and order Arthur’s fine work. You will not find finer handmade journals.
Arthur – thanks so much for everything, sorry, I brought a non-leather bag and a pleather book cover into your shop!