Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Blog/Website!

Hey there! from now on, the Corter Leather Blog will be available at

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Website

Coming in the next week or so! I'm busy working on orders, just got back from a nice trip to Cape Cod, and I'm almost done with the new site. it will be way more integrated and simple, and will hopefully give Corter Leather the ease and aesthetic beauty I think it deserves!

Until then, keep the orders coming. Fall season is usually when the wait list gets to around 50 people (last year we had 200 people wanting wallets when we were taking a break and finishing school!) so it's best to get the orders in early!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I found a hide large enough for 4 premium belts, so those are back for the time being!

Also, new Corter Leather Bracelets are available in both single and double wrap, for $25 and $33 respectively.

Lastly, I've got a couple wallets for sale very cheap. shipping will be $5 or $7, depending on where you are in the world.

$80, interior has an ID slot thats just a tad too small, and full card slots.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Going Green

Leathersmithing is inherently a very eco friendly trade. Everything is done by hand, and besides a bit of electricity for a laptop, camera, and a light, I use very little other energy. While I usually try to be kind to mother nature, I've never been super fanatical about it. I'm introducing a new selection of wallets, I'll call them Scrap Wallets. They're made out of just that: scrap. I've had this idea for a little while, and I finally got to act on it this weekend while traveling. I'll be making, from time to time, wallets out of interesting, reclaimed leather from my shop. I've got the first two here, and they're available for purchase on the main site now. 

This first one is a regular snap wallet with 6 card slots. The shell is made from a piece of leather I've used to test dyes I custom mix. The concho is a hand made peso concho I got from an artisan in the midwest. 

This next one was a big piece of leather that got spilled on, it's a maroon color (more red than this photo, I couldn't get it to come out right). It's got 3 card slots and a coin pouch, and again- a handmade peso concho for a snap.

and lastly, here's a picture of the past group's orders (well, half of them)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Now Accepting Orders!

Round 3 is well on it's way to completion (7 orders left) so I'm now accepting orders for round 4. I'll take 15 names this time, and this order list will take me to September. I'll put all 15 names in a hat, and pull one. That person will get their order free! Please email to get your name on the list. 

Sunday, June 28, 2009

More Clearance!

$135 shipped in the conUS :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I'm heading off to Bonnaroo this afternoon, so all emails will be responded to next tuesday unless I get decent phone service in the big field in manchester. This will be my 3rd trip down, I'll be sure to take lots of pictures to share. For those who haven't seen the lineup, a few of the shows I'm absolutely going to see are Bon Iver, Phish (yes, I'm a phish fan, from back in my long haired tye dye days), Grace Potter, Dear and the Headlights, Jenny Lewis, Wilco, Neko Case, and Justin Townes Earle. 

Also, Corter Leather is now on twitter! you can follow us at:

it's mostly just random ramblings and pictures, however I will be posting more about prototypes and how fast the waitlist is going, etc. 

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sample Sale!

So here are the pieces up for sale in the sample sale. Prices include first class shipping worldwide, EMS please add $25. The sale will be first come first serve, and all sales are final. please email for purchasing.

$100   4.5" x 3.5" snap wallet, purple detail and 6 card slots

$45   7.5" x 3.5" midlength wallet with fabric inserts and 8 card slots/2 bill slots

$100 6" x 4" premium midlength wallet, zip pouch and 4 card slots on the inside (zipper is a bit finicky)

Friday, May 29, 2009

New stuff! I've been holding off on posting much lately, as a lot of the stuff I'm doing has been basic snap wallet stuff, etc. Here's one I haven't done in a while, and older style mid.

I'll be taking orders for my 3rd group of 10 orders starting now, I've got 8 spots left!

The wait will be about 4-6 weeks, as I'm starting the 2nd group right now. 

I've also recently realized that while I had an assistant for a time in April, a few belt orders and emails went missing due to 2 people organizing things differently. I'm back to running things by myself, while it's more work it makes things easier in the long run. So if you've sent an email and haven't received a response, please send another! I'm not online a ton, sometimes only 2-3 times a week answering emails, but every email I've received has been responded to as of right now. 

Next, the Brewster collection is not dead! Things are moving along, and while it may only be 2 pieces, I'll be damned if I don't get a couple affordable, freshly designed wallet options out in about a month. I expect prices to be between $40-$65. 

Third, I've got a sample sale coming soon! I have a few pieces just lounging around, sometimes orders get made wrong so I have doubles of things. In the next week I'll have a few snap wallets and mids going up for sale in the $70-$130 range, discounted at around 50-60%.

Fourth, I've got a ton of bracelets made up. I'll post pictures and get them in the store soon. They're nice and thick (10-15oz) and they'll be very affordable, I'm shooting for $27 for single wraps and $35 for double wraps. Send an email for first dibs, I've got black and natural, no stitching, and can accommodate any wrist size.

Fifth, and last~ new belt designs coming soon, and a whole new era of custom belts for Corter. This is a work in progress between orders, so this is something that I'll try to get out in the next few months.

There may be a 6th...but it may not be ready till tomorrow...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hey yall. So i've passed all of my classes, graduation is in a week and a half, I'm done!. I'm deep into the first group of 10 and now taking names for my second group, im about 4-5 into that. So please email me if you'd like a spot

in other news- i'm currently working on designing a bag for medium format cameras (square types, like hassy and bronica) since i know a lot of customers love to have a camera with them at all times. I've got some interesting projects coming up including a watch strap and a wallet made to look imperfect and more hand done than usual (basically a reproduction of the first wallet i made back a couple years ago).

I've added more natural belts to the store, and I'm in the process of getting a new hide for more premium belts, should be about a month before they're in and ready.

lastly, im currently designing a new website, and possibly a whole new look for Corter Leather. Above is some inspiration, I took this picture on a foggy day a couple weeks ago in Gloucester, MA.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

back to black

lots of orders for black wallets this week. contrast stitching is always a little tricky, but pretty fun!

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's been a while, I'm sorry for the long break. I've been working super hard to graduate school, in about 2 weeks I'll be done! I've been trying to keep up with emails, but it's hard as I'm still by myself in this. After that, Corter will be my top priority. Here's a few of the newest projects:

I've got about 4 spots left for the latest custom order group, so if you'd like something send in an email!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

     I took my stitches out yesterday, but last week had me unable to work due to some stitches. Usually it'd be easy to work with em, but I kept trying and my thumb would bleed, so I had to give it a rest. Thus, the belt orders form the last 2 weeks are getting completed/sent out tomrrow.

     March is here, and with that comes the reopening of custom orders. Because of school, I've decided to hold of on releasing the Brewster collection until late spring, early summer. 

     The way custom orders are going to work is I will take 10 at a time. This should take me 3-4 weeks to complete, then I will take 10 more. I'll be updating the main website this weekend with new instructions and I'll have a new website up hopefully by June, once I get out of school I'll have time to build it.  

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Currently I'm finishing up a couple designs for the spring line, which will be smaller than I expected. Putting out an entire (and complete) collection has proven unattainable with school and finishing my degree this semester. However, I will be putting out 3 pieces as the Brewster Collection in March. This will include a slim wallet and a cardholder, which i have mentioned before. It will also include one other piece which I've decided to keep a secret.

I will start taking custom orders in the middle of March. I'll put out more details next week, which will include ordering info as well as my new offerings as far as saddle bags, camera bags, and messenger bags go. As always, they will be reasonably priced and completely customizable. 

Again, I thank you all for your support, it means the world to me!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Wallets and Wine: Not Just a Nightly Ritual.


     Leatherwork has always been an enjoyable craft for me, I don’t consider it a business. For one, it’s an honorable and enjoyable way to make my keep. It’s also a wonderful way to meditate, as more often than not I find inspiration in the actual work itself. Once I’m done with class and homework, my nightly ritual is to pour a nice glass of wine, put on a record and set to work on whatever may be on my workbench. I spend time researching good wine just as I spend time looking for the perfect pair of boots, a great eco friendly tote bag for post office trips, or a nice new awl. They are both passions, and when I found out they were so closely linked, I had to share (I’m sure there are readers that are just as interested in this as I am).

     I started by researching the vegetable tanning process for a chemistry project. In theory, leather had never made sense to me. Unprocessed animal hide is soft, floppy, and decomposes quickly, where as leather has strength, body, and can withstand some of the harshest conditions on earth. Leather, unlike some of the more modern technologies in fashion, has also been around for hundreds and thousands of years…so this couldn’t be complicated technology. It must be something simple.

     The tanning process is old, and refers to the chemical treatment of animal hides to produce leather (not tanning in the sun). All hides are dried and cured with salt, then soaked in clear water to be desalted. Once the hides are clean, they are soaked in milk of lime, which loosens and removes hair and grease, and begins the process of conditioning the collagen for tanning. The rest of the hair is then removed using a machine and a process called scudding, which is the manual removal of hair with a dull or plastic blade.

     The next few steps chemically prepare the hide for tanning. First, the pH level of the collagen (hide) are lowered by bathing the hide in a vat of acid in a process called deliming. Deliming allows the hide to be treated with enzymes in a process called bating, which smoothes the grain of the leather and softens it. Without lowering the pH level, the enzymes would have no effect on the hide. This is the last step before actually tanning.

    The Vegetable Tanning process then starts with a substance called Tannin, which is an organic substance found in plants- mostly in bark, leaves, and the immature fruit of plant life. Tannins are astringent. This means they tend to constrict and shrink body tissue. It also means they taste bitter. Tannin can be made from many different plants, but historically, back to the 19th century, only three types of bark were used- sumac bark, oak bark, and hemlock bark. 

     Making Tannin is much like making tea. Ground up bark is simply soaked in hot water for two days. At the end of these two days, the tannic acid created is put through a number of vats, and manipulated until the desired strength is reached.

     As a note to the environmentally conscious: at the end of the 19th century, many tanneries had installed furnaces to burn the bark either wet or dry after it had been used to make tannic acid. This made use of the waste by heating the water and tannery itself in the winter months.

     The hides are stretched out on frames and exposed to Tannin in varying strengths for varying amounts of time. Once the process of vegetable tanning is complete…we’ve got leather. So how, chemically, does this process create leather? Tannins are defined by their chemical function. They are “polyphenolic compounds that bind to and precipitate proteins”. In more simple terms this means that Tannin is chemically able to link and bond with other chemicals. It solidifies the proteins in the hide and turns the skin into a firm and tough piece of leather that won’t decompose.

     Tannin serves a different, but just as important, purpose in wine making. First of all, the tannins used in wine come mostly from grapes: their sin, seeds, and stems. They also may come from the wooden barrel used to store the wine if it’s new. Wine tannin is changed in the fermenting and storage process, thus wine tannin is chemically more complex than grape tannin. During this process, grape tannin is condensed through polymerzation, where a polymer called proanthocyanidin is created. This bond is hard to study, because it is constantly breaking and reforming in a varying lengths of sequence.

     So far, research has concluded that tannins contribute at least two things to the actual taste of wine: bitterness and astringency. The difference between the two is that bitterness is a taste, one of the five main tastes that we have (the other four being salty, sweet, sour, and umami). Asringency, while very similar to bitterness, is actually thought to be a chemical reaction between the tannins and our saliva. Like in leather tanning, it is thought that tannins bond with proteins in our saliva to precipitate them out, causing friction between the surfaces of the pallet. This is the feeling of “dryness” we get when drinking wine.

     I think it is only fitting that these two things relate in the end. Objectively, they are both organic processes that change one compound to another through bonds using the proteins of living or once living animals. However, subjectively (for me at least), they link two things which I’m passionate about, and allow me to enjoy my work just that much more. The research of wine is still in it’s infant stages as well, so who knows what else will be found. I’ll make sure to keep everyone updated!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

So, a couple updates:

~Premium belts are back in stock

~I've recieved over 100 order inqueries in the last month, which is absolutely amazing! Unfortunately, I've been unable to respond to all of them so far, I'm slowly chipping away. I've been away from the computer, and since I won't be taking orders until late february I'll be answering emails a bit slowly. The past month has seen a big growth in my skill, and I'm excited to get back into the custom wallets. 

~The first Corter Leather s/s line, s/s09, will be titled "The Brewster Collection" and will release in February. So far, this collection will include a slim one pocket wallet, a card case, a phone sleeve that attaches to your belt, and possibly a wallet that attaches to your belt. I'm still in the design process with a couple of the pieces, but will post sneak peaks as I get things finished. 

On to some things to look at. I made myself a camera bag, more of these to come after the s/s collection is made!

and a purple detailed wallet for a customer