Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Antique Leather Trunk Reimagined by Steven Lalioff with Help from Tom Connin

I just finished this. It only took me a decade Since the idea entered my head. Over the years, I’ve collected dozens of 18th and 19th century leather bound trunks ...some near perfect, others just fragments for study. Originally made in Vermont, this trunk dated to 1828, based upon what remained of the newspaper lining. The leather had long turned to dust but the wood, lock and handles were sound. I decided to do something unique with the “restoration”. I called upon my dear friend Tom Connin to paint a buffalo robe in the manor of the Sioux. “Just paint fragments...don’t worry about orientation, I want it to look like someone cut up a damaged robe”, I told him. I then used those large swatches to re-leather the trunk. My idea being, it should look like something William Clark or George Catlin might have commissioned a trunk maker to do in order to preserve damaged robes that they collected among the Western Tribes in the 1830’s.

Copy and photography by Steven Lalioff.

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