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Our Process

Our products are made to serve you for years to come; we take time and care with our work. Every item we make passes through each of our hands on its way to you.
We work together to create our designs. Our Hand Carved Collection offers a clean and modern take on traditional leather tooling techniques and takes inspiration from Hudson Bay point blankets, semaphore flags, the National Parks, and an American lodge aesthetic.
The Atlas Series began with our hometowns of Milwaukee and Chicago, and has since expanded to include many cities. To create these designs, we begin by searching through hundreds of antique maps in the collection of the American Geographical Society Library. Once we find a map that we like, we spend hours meticulously preparing it for etching. After each map is scanned into a digital format, we edit street by street and inch by inch repairing damage, removing text and color, and making an image that will etch cleanly and beautifully with the laser. Often we incorporate text or title block images from more than one map, or draw in specific details like waterlines along the shore.  Once we have a clean, etchable version of the map, we carefully lay the image out to create a journal, clutch, map, or flask- and make several rounds of prototypes and edits to be sure we get the refined results we want.
Each hide we use to make our goods is hand selected. The majority of our cow and bison hides come from Seidel Tanning Co, who have been tanning here in Milwaukee since 1945. We sift through hundreds of hides to choose the leathers with the perfect color, weight and feel to suit our needs.
We do our best to source our materials from other US companies like Cuppow, Fiebing's, Mohawk Paper, Neenah Paper, Ball and Kerr Canning, and Seidel Tanning Co, who only tans hides from US raised animals.
Once we have the leather in our studio, we cut it into workable sizes to prepare it for carving or etching. To make our hand carved goods, Sarah wets vegetable tanned leather with water and uses knives, stamps, and mallets to carve and tool our signature patterns.
After the carved items dry, we dye them with a series of high quality oil dyes and apply detail painting and highlights by hand before sealing each item. 
To make our laser etched goods, Anna carefully calibrates the focus and power of our laser cutter for each type of leather. Once the image has been etched, we seal the leather with a water resistant sealer to protect it.
After the design has been carved or etched, we prepare the goods for assembly by measuring and punching holes for stitching. We carefully count and fold recycled woven linen paper into folios for our books. Each item is either stitched by hand with artificial sinew, or sewn in our studio on our industrial sewing machine. We then hand set solid brass closures onto our books and clutches, and cement the leather to our stainless steel flasks for added durability.
To see more of our process and what goes into our work, follow us on instagram!