Leather is valued for its versatility, strength, and character.
Each hide has traces of the individuality of the animal that it came from. These unique characteristics demand an adaptive process which strives for uniformity. Throughout this process there is a need for human presence, every step has to be monitored. As a material leather is a prime example to explain how the meaning of craftsmanship is changing to meet the demands of the consumer. Technology and environmental restrictions have played a key role in this change. The craftsman overlaps the domain of the chemist, the mechanic, the engineer and the designer.
With a group of designers I visited tanneries, workshops and factories throughout the Netherlands and Istanbul to document the role of craftsmanship in the leather industry.
The aim of this film became to broaden the perception of craftsmanship. Though craftsman still occupy a romanticized, and nostalgic part of our imagination, the craftsman has taken on a new role within society that requires the same values by which we defined the craftsman of the past.