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Meet the Artist: Joe Smith

I have always enjoyed taking raw materials such as wood, metals and now leather and transforming them into items that are visually pleasing and often useful. Wood was my medium of choice in my younger days but due to my connection with metal fabrication I perused metal sculpture as a hobby at one time.

For the last 12 years I have concentrated my efforts on tanned leather; creating handmade pieces that I strive to make both attractive and functional.

Leather is such a great medium. By controlling the moisture content of vegetable tanned bovine leather it can be molded, tooled, carved, dyed, painted and pieces can be stitched together to create one-of-a-kind pieces of what I refer to as ‘functional leather art’. The attributes of leather have provided me with a means to create unique objects for people that are personalized and

extremely special. Making something that a person cherishes is very rewarding.

The inspirations for my works mainly come from my outdoor experiences while hunting, fishing, camping and traveling, throughout the Northwest and Alaska and living here on Camano Island.

Joe Smith

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