Ray Lansburg of Blackacre, specialist in custom hand-made leatherworks, kindly sent me this very unique piece of leather craft:
Blackacre Leather, a Californian creative collective, was founded by Lindsay LA Thompson IV & Ray Lansburg (Superfuture member TheBlackGoat) .
Their ethos is the use of high quality materials in crafting simplistic yet handsome designs, with a perfectionist tendency inspired by the Japanese workshops which brought back hefty hand-crafted wallets.
Ray himself works in the leathercrafting profession and custom wallet-making is his passion, taking notes from the likes of Kawatako & Kurobane.
This wallet is one such labour of love, and every detail except for the basic design was custom spec’ed – Horween’s Chromexcel (CXL) horse butt as outer, Wickett & Craig’s American-bridle as inner, wallet compartment lined with vegetable tanned pig-skin, stitches done in red artificial sinew.
Ray’s work is very precise & clean – every aspect from the stitch-spacing to the alignment & joining of the individual cuts of leather borders on perfection.
You’ll notice too that, just like Kawatako, Blackacre wallets are presented to the user unfolded.
Details of the outer-shell:
^ The Blackacre symbol, read more regarding their philosophy here.
^The black-coated edges are nice touches, providing a nice contrast & framing effect with the red CXL horse.
The CXL horse butt leather is fantastic.
It has the pull-up & water-proofing abilities that Horween’s more well known cattlehide CXL leathers are renowned for, but is tougher in the grain and rates higher in tensile strength.
Compared to the similarly coloured cattlehide CXL on my Alden 403 Indy boots, Ray’s cut of CXL horse butt has a cleaner & more defined grain.
Similar to front quarter horse (FQH) leather in a way, but there is more variation in the grain compared to the standard black/brown FQH found on jackets, and the grain has a deeper & IMO richer appearance.
On the inside:
I do like the combination of heavy curves on the pockets and the more gentle cuts on the frames – simple, yet very pleasing to the eye.
Another aspect which keeps the inside interesting is the choice of a deep growth black leather.
Doesn’t get boring as smooth black leathers do, and certainly the combination of vegetable tannage & drum-stuffing gives the leather a good handle and a durable grain.
^ It’s clean!
^ Very clean!
In case it wasn’t made clear in the above photos, the burnish is sick…like crepe soles on a rainy day, Ray’s edges are slippery!
The gently curved tool burnish in combination with the coating reminds me of the higher-end Dolce Vita wallets.
More to come very soon, and really, the CXL horse butt needs to be seen in natural light!
A lot of Ray’s work can be seen in the Superfuture leathercrafting thread, and you might like to check out their website as they launch it in a week or so:
Or visit their Facebook page:
If you’re wanting to spec’ your own wallet with Ray, PM him on Superfuture or get to him directly via e-mail (info.blackacre AT gmail.com).