Renaissance-Art makes heavy leather goods by hand in New Mexico, U.S.A.. The stuff is very much like you would get if you had a saddlemaker just down the road and asked him for a bag or a journal cover. The studio produces fine finished colored leather, but I love the heavy tanned hides the original moleskine covers and laptop messenger bags come in.
These are made to be used. The leather distresses over time, as good leather should. A scratch on the moleskine cover rubs out easily, same with the laptop bags, and as they age and wear they assume a character and an age and presence. There are no zippers or fabric liners. The thread and sewing is careful. Think a dusty rider slinging his bag over the chair at the table at the end and ordering a drink to cut his thirst. Spurs and brimmed hats. Sante Fe, New Mexico.
Here’s my bag on the work table in Santa Fe…
When my daughter was 19 years old she gave me a Renaissance-Art journal for Father’s Day. It was so beautiful I could never find the exact words to write in it.
It is still blank.
I pick it up every once in a while and think about what to write in it, and then don’t.
Moleskine covers are easy – the moleskine notebook is an ok paper in a durable cover, and I write lists and thoughts and plans and ideas in each of the three moleskines I use daily. The Renaissance-Art journal-work-of-art is much harder and hits me like a stark blank page in a stark blank book.
What could I write in a unique one-of-a-kind journal given to me by a daughter who no longer lives? What would be important enough? I put it back, still blank. I treasure it.