AMERICAN TRADITIONAL TANNERS
At the very beginning of our tanning journey, both of us unsure of where to start, we were attempting to make buckskins using books and online instructions and we weren’t getting great results.
In the end we went in search of teachers and fortunately we found Katie Russell and Lynx Vilden who are based in Washington State in America.
We spent a month living on Katie’s land and hide tanning every single day.
We learned brain tanning and so much more, by focusing completely on the skins we were working on, more delicate intricacies of the craft began to filter into our understanding. Along with 8 other tanners, our lives took on the rhythmn of tanning, eating and sleeping, along with singing round the fire and eating plenty of deer offal!
A few months passed, and we had a stack of buckskin and all sorts of other creatures that we’d tanned. Coyote, rabbits, water rats, foxes, salmon.
Then, weeks of sewing and tailoring, crafting and creating. It was time to begin turning them into clothing and useful items before we could head out into the mountains with our other teacher Lynx Vilden and put the hides into use as our clothes and beds.
Lynx Vilden’s work can be seen here-
And Katie is an incredible tanning teacher, her work can be found here-