We had a chance to interview Bruce Lund of Lund Leather. Bruce is a master leather worker and makes truly beautiful products. Let’s see what he has to say.
Why do you think that working with leather is a privilege?
It is a great opportunity to work with a natural material that humans have used for thousands of years. It has given me a skill that I can use and improve to do artistic and useful products that serve the needs of others.
I believe that the use of the bag is one of the unique traits of humanity as we carry things with us.
How would you describe your design style?
Some have described it as vintage as much of my thinking goes back to the learning from my master during my apprenticeship beginning in the mid 70’s, and has been refined by years of doing this as a hobby while I was a toy inventor for 40 years. Now back to doing leather full time. We want to create bags people love, of gorgeous leather, beautifully crafted, solid brass fittings and fixtures. We want bags that will make people’s lives just a little bit more delightful, and practical as well. We seek to use and showcase beautiful leather, and avoid unnecessary detail.
Who do you think your products are best suited for?
These are a delightful and durable everyday product. Work, shopping, going out. Not a high-end designer look, but meant for regular and everyday use.
Which one of your bags has the most interesting story?
The Crosstown Carryall bag was first made as part of a line of ‘art bags’. One ‘saddle’ type bag had a beautiful solid brass buckle, and unseen to the user, it has no bottom and everything would fall right through. The Crosstown Carryall sample goes back to 1975 in beautiful red leather, but it had no zipper. Nothing could go into that bag. Or out, for that matter. Part of a line but I realized whatever am I going to do with that line if I continue so I stopped there. I had a line of ‘Leather Weather’ that I thought could go into an art museum, leather rain drops, snowflakes, 3D leather lightning bolt (which became my logo in the toy business, and is even used as an underlay in one of our coffee cup holders), and a huge 3Dd rainbow, now since long gone.
Another bag comes from that era our Make My Day Tote. Our original we called the ‘CarpetBag’ as it resembles those long ago, and now a rather unacceptable era of American History. We changed the name and it has been one of our best sellers.
Is there a possibility in the future that you will return to other crafts / activities?
I am an inventor at heart. I have unique features in my product but have not found those features to appeal to customers. We have secret pockets in most bags and wallets to hold a spare key or some ‘mad money’. We have a special embossed ‘wish’ inside all our bags. We have a tiny tab on my men’s wallet to help one fish it out of that back pocket. I have thought about getting a 3D plastic printer to begin to create products we could use in a bag, but we need to have enough sales to consider the time and money that might take.
So I consider the electronics we used in our animated toys, or making items of metal and plastic that we used for decades in making toys. But nothing yet. I used to do a lot of woodwork and thinking about opening a wood shop, but the dust has to be kept away from the leather, so it would have to be in another building. We may do some furniture combining wood and leather.
Tell us about your connection with the Zuni people
Before I moved to Texas I was a counselor at the Cottonwood Gulch foundation that has taken kids from Indianapolis and around the east to the 4 corner states area. In my group were 2 Zuni kids and when we visited their home where most of the tribe lives, they took me to their home to see where they lived, and met their grandmother. The poverty there is extreme. I hoped to find a way to help, perhaps build some basketball courts, or skate ramps, but the Zuni are very closeted, and do not like working with outsiders. I have not been successful in finding someone to work with.