Stargazer MercantileLocation: Leadville, COPrimary Medium: Leather and fur home decor
MEET THE ARTIST: STARGAZER MERCANTILE DESIGNER AND OWNER,
My ancestors emigrated to Leadville, Colorado during the silver mining rush of the late 1800′s, and there they remained, with a brief split to Denver to open a harness business in the early 1900′s. Living in the West made a real impression on me, and on my artistic style. After painting and crafting for many years, with various materials and techniques, I have returned to my roots, and now focus my creativity on producing high quality leather and fur home decor in the historic styles of the American West, as designer and owner of Stargazer Mercantile.
But Stargazer Mercantile is much more than just the effort and vision of one person! We’re a grassroots organization comprised of an ever-growing number of stay-at-home moms, all of whom work from the comfort of their own homes as they care for their families and their extended families. While I focus on designing and crafting, our staff does a variety of support tasks, such as cutting leather, stretching hides, making fringe and piping, packing and shipping, and just about anything else that they can to pitch in and help. It’s a team effort!
As the artist and designer of our home decor items, I think of myself as a creative storyteller. I just do it in a different way than most! I thoughtfully choose a historic subject for each item – – say, Bohlin saddles or Chava Guevara boots, as examples – – and I translate the historic techniques and materials used by the original creators into a very special item that you’ll be proud to live with. I create decorative pillows, room accents, table decor, plus other items yet to be imagined. I use only the highest quality traditional materials such as deerskin, cowhide, lizard and snake skin and indigenous furs, such as coyote, fox, beaver and deer. And I use the highest quality crafting techniques, such as tooling, hitching horsehair, painting with earth pigments, buck stitching, lacing, braiding, hand and machine sewing, and I add some very high quality modern techniques as well! The quality of our items is extremely important to us, and we stand behind every item we sell with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Here at Stargazer Mercantile, our focus is history, and our goal is to honor that history by telling the story the way it was meant to be told. We hope that we accomplish that by making beautiful, authentic objects that you will love living with, and by sharing the historic meaning behind each object with you. Our art and craft comes from the heart . . . it is an expression of our love and respect for the American West.
Red coyote fur, ivory suede leather - Other
Brown and turquoise leather with Quebec Beaver - Other
White and turquoise leather with Arctic Fox - Other
Black leather, gold embossed stingray and Montana Coyote - Other
Brown and black leather with hair-on cowhide - Other
Tan tooled leather, turquoise conchos and palomino hair-on cowhide - Other
by Lesley White