Today I will introduce you to an artist that will make any leather product ranging from a hand made fashionable statement to an exotic decorative accessory or costume. A Chris Avery Bennet Group favorite, Andrew Mangold is featured as a hardcore, visionary leather designer bringing some of the most rugged, yet elegant leather accessories to the world of fashion. His pieces are a reflection of how life will look in a radically different future where every individual is proudly unique, where clothes are made to last for years, and where nature has been expertly integrated into daily life... More simply, his belts are bright, they’re sturdy, they use the best hardware, best materials, and the best methods of assembly to push the edge of what is even possible within leather.
One of Andrew’s greatest achievements has been the creation of a series of life-sized leather animal sculptures, including an entirely hand-stitched, hand-dyed elephant’s head, a rhinoceros, and other non-earthly creatures. Each of these sculptures required Andrew to bend his mastery over leather to envision new techniques, and work at a larger scale than crafters within the medium have ever attempted. And yet, the success of these monumental works prove that even with remarkable ambition, Andrew has the grounded ability to carry out grand dreams into reality.
At present, the leather crafting business is only one part of Andrew’s greatest project. In fact, the real dream is to create a fully-functional, sustainable community using the most holistic building methods and management. The purpose is to bring together the most passionate artists, healers and gardeners around in order to create a space where everyone is encouraged to excel at their own particular gift. Just like the belts and bags that Mangold Leather sells, the purpose in all that Andrew does is to bring out the greatest inner essence of every individual.
Currently, Andrew runs Mangold Leather with a small team of dedicated artists and healers who care deeply about what they do. Together, they test-run the first small model community at a site in Turners Falls, MA, while each operating and assisting in one-another’s specific trade or business. This small community is the original heart and brain of many larger projects geared specifically at bringing as many people as possible the tools and theory they need to enable their own freedom. This includes high quality holistic medicines, healing services, gardening abilities, green building workshops, medicinal plants, seeds, trees, and most importantly, really fun parties! All this while synching up with other like minded farms and projects to facilitate new living/working opportunities for those who need them, and to better augment the movement to a more fair and livable world.
As for the leatherwork itself, every item that leaves Andrew’s workshop is considered, in one degree, to be medicine. He doesn’t just sell shit so that it will end up in a closet somewhere. Mangold Leather products are created out of passion, knowing that every single bag or belt is one of the most awesome personal gifts he could give back to the world. Using over a decade or hard-earned leathering ability, and tapping into a pool of semi-secret invented techniques, Mangold Leather products are each a diamond-like, life-enhancing companion. Owning such a radical, spiritually infused bag or belt encourages a person to more courageously inhabit this planet. It provides inspiration and a feeling of protection to grab hold of your own life; to settle for nothing less than your heart’s true desires; to look like no one else can look but your own inner self. To speak like you and sing like you and dance and dream and act like only you can do.
One of the final and most exciting pieces to Andrew’s work is that every single item is made from of grass-fed bison skin. These animals are raised in natural, respectful conditions, and tanned at a low-impact, responsible tannery. Up until 2013, Andrew had been using conventional leather, like nearly every other crafter. However, through their broad networking campaign with other good farms, Mangold Leather has linked up with a team that produces the absolute best leather available. This stuff is stronger, softer, and in time, wears in, not out. Handling and wearing this material feels like a dream, and it protects one’s health by reducing contact with the harmful chemicals used at other tanneries. It’s fantastic for the environment too, because these bison come from prairies, not feedlots, and the tannery uses absolutely lowest energy, water and pollutants in making this material. This is the only leather that anyone should own.
Coming as one of our most highly recommended designers, Andrew Mangold of Mangold leather is not to be overlooked! Please check him out at http://www.mangoldleather.com/Mangold_Leather/Home.html
All of the best wishes, and remember to always Make A Difference
-Chris Avery Bennet