THE MOLDED LEATHER ACCESSORIES
LEMAIRE presents new molded leather accessories with clean and soft lines, handcrafted in the region of Cadiz in Spain. Expending on the idea of bags as objects, this new line of Molded offers five pieces that honor the singular and ancestral know-how from the town of Ubrique
THE EMBLEMATIC HAMMER
Ubrique is located in the Spanish province of Cadiz, about 100 kilometers south of Seville. At the entrance to the town lies a roundabout with a centerpiece: a huge rusted metal hammer. This giant martillo is the emblematic tool of this leatherworking town. It can be seen on the tables of the leather workshops that predominate in one side of town, and by the hundreds on the roof of Museo de la Piel de Ubrique, where local artisans hang their timeworn hammer on the day of their retirement. The hammer’s smooth edges call to mind the rounded lines of the tobacco accessories and cigar cases once made in Ubrique, which have inspired five molded leather items with simple, soft lines. These mysterious contain- ers resemble smooth, peculiar shells, or big shiny stones polished by the sea.
A HOMETOWN FOR LEATHER GOODS
RESIN SHAPES LIKE LUMPS OF BUTTER
Ubrique is one of Europe’s main producers of leather goods. The remnants of Roman tanneries are still visible in the White Village, which lies at the foot of a jagged, chalky cliff topped with olive and orange trees rising toward the blue sky. For the past three years, LEMAIRE has been producing some of its bags there, including the Egg Bag, which comprises two molded shells assembled using bellows. The research conducted to create the bag served as a laboratory for the creation of five new accessories.
THE TACCO BAG
RESIN SHAPES ON WHICH THE LEATHER
IS SMOOTHED BEFORE BEING WAXED
The workshop developed innovative molding frames and techniques to perfect a sleek form that is sturdy enough not to require any stitching or reinforcement. The molded form is achieved by pressing wet leather encased in a metal mold. The leather is held taut in the heavy frame and, as the hours pass, takes on the desired shape.
THE CARTRIDGE TACCO BAG READY TO BE WAXED
The shell shape emerges once the form is removed from the mold and cut to size. It is then smoothed out by hand and using a hammer on a resin base, to remove any remaining irregularities. Dye is applied to the edges with a brush to highlight the contours of each item, which is then waxed to reveal the leather’s deep sheen.
THE KEY-RING BELLS DRYING AFTER THE EDGE TINCTURE
Crafting the accessories requires intricate knowledge of the artisanal process and a sensitive touch honed over the course of many trials. The artisan has to remain attuned to the living, capricious quality of each hide, in order to react to its particular ripples throughout forming. The singular nature of these items is intimately related to the leatherworking process, which brings out the essence of the material, the leather’s grain and unique suppleness.
PHOTOS BY: OSMA HARVILAHTI. VIDEO BY: LUNA PICOLI-TRUFFAUT