The original + natural way to make leather is through bark and plant material.
Bark-tanning (also known as vegetable tanning) turns animal skin into colourful leather through the ingredient tannic acid. Tannic acid is a component of all plants and acts like a plant’s immune system to defend against disease and insects. It is an astringent molecule that humans have used for millennia in herbal medicine and hide tanning. This live video narrative + download is a story of the deep time roots of leather’s origins, historical importance, and contemporary resurgence. It weaves a narrative of co-evolution by people, plant, and animal through the ages and into current cultural and colonial contexts.
This narrative will offer instruction on the ethical harvesting of bark and plants and on the animal skins most common to this craft: fishskin, goat skin, and deer hide. Techniques for softening, handy tools, and at-home infrastructure setups are explored to help support localized, at-home tanning projects. The live video is 90 minutes of narratives and 30 minutes of Q&A. It is available for download after, so no need to attend in-person if you can’t make the date.
This offering is a perfect primer for those starting their own hide tanning journey and hide tanning novices wishing to deepen their connection to the craft and a community of tanners.
Date: Sunday, April 25; 2:00-3:30pm PST
Guide to the sliding scale:
At checkout, you will “name your price. Here are the sliding scale options:
$70: If you are able to pay for “wants” and spend little time worried about securing necessities in your life, or if this offering strikes you as a moment to make an extra donation to support the sliding scale, then this price is for you. Your contribution co-creates our community financial reciprocity.
$50: If you are struggling to conquer debt or to move away from paycheque to paycheque living, but you have access to steady income and are not spending most of your time thinking about meeting basic needs, then you belong here.
$25: If you struggle to maintain access to needs (such as health care, housing, food, and child care) and are living paycheque to paycheque or are in significant debt, you belong here and you deserve a community that honours your price as equal an economic offering as the person who can pays highest tier.
$0: Indigenous people are welcome to choose $0 as part of community-based reparations and mutual aid. Please choose this option only if you belong to an Indigenous or First Nation community.
Words borrowed from and expanded upon by Alexis J Cunningfolk in The Sliding Scale: A Tool of Economic Justice.