The tannery uses ancient methods of harnessing tannins, fats, and smoke to transform animal skins into wearable, durable material. Smoke-tanning (brain-tanning) creates buckskin. Bark-tanning and alum-tawing create leather.

All hides used in my classes are ethically harvested and salvaged. I travel to Bitterroot country in the Rocky Mountains each year to spend hunting season skinning deer, antelope, and elk. Sheepskins and other animal hides are sourced from farmers and from road-killed accidents. By skimming off the excess of the harvest, and utilizing an element of the animal that is discarded, I ensure the whole animal is transformed into new life. This honours the animal for all of its gifts.

I work with hides of Coastal Blacktail deer, Mule deer, Whitetail deer, Pronghorn antelope, domesticated sheep, wild and domesticated goat, raccoon, and beaver. Each species takes best to a particular tanning process and creates a unique piece, but there is also rich variation amongst individuals of the same species.

Scars and skin imperfections are kept intact on natural leathers and buckskins. Predator claws, barbed-wire fence scratches, and antler wounds may all be present on a buckskin or hair-off leather. The story of each animal carries forward in the transformation.

To learn about this alchemical process and tap into the ancient art of hide tanning, see the workshop offerings.

For custom orders of hides, email me directly with your request here.

crow's nest wildcraft - curator mara cur

Check out the full hide tanning gallery.

Crow's Nest Wildcraft

Available hide tanning workshops