Guest post by Ruby Wilson
As with much of our modern day society, we owe it all to the Greeks. Cast Made’s tanning process is no different; the ancient Greeks are credited with developing tanning formulas using certain tree barks and leaves soaked in water to preserve the leather. Lucie Cast of Cast Made first stared working with leather when she got a job at a handmade shoe shop in her hometown. Since then her love for the material grew and now based in Tontes Devon, she creates exquisitely designed bags using vegetable tanned leather.
The leather Cast uses is integral to her craft. She has a love for the simplicity of the material and appreciates how tactile it is to work with. Admitting herself that she struggles with sketching initial designs and instead prefers making three-dimensional prototypes, the creating process is an extremely tangible one. Sourcing the leather is one of the most enjoyable parts of her process. ‘Tanneries are amazing places,’ she explains to Selvedge, ‘I use only vegetable tanned leather which means the leather has been tanned using natural plant extracts. This is an ancient art that hasn't changed much over the years so going to the tanneries and seeing the processes is fascinating.’
Cast chose to be based in Tontes due to its geographical location, ‘it’s just the right distance from the moors and the sea,’ however she is also grateful for the concentration of small creative businesses much like hers based in the area. Appreciating like-minded people and creativity, Cast talked to Selvedge about her recent trip to Venice in LA claiming, ‘it felt a bit like our town in terms of creativity and independent businesses, but much warmer – and with palm trees.’
Much like the Greek’s tanning process, Cast’s bags are made to last. In her process she considers ‘how the bag feels to wear, what materials are used and the how it is made, resulting in a bag that you will use everyday (until your daughter is old enough to steal it!)’
Cast Made will be exhibiting as part of the Selvedge Christmas Fair in Kings Cross, London on December 2nd.