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Local Artist - Illo Leather

Posted on March 07 2017

Why did you decide to work with the Library Store?
Reading and books! Can't imagine my life without stories. I thought it was a great opportunity to share my work and contribute to the Calgary Public Library at the same time. We have a 2 and 5 year old and we would be lost without our local library!

What inspired you to decide to start making leather goods specifically bookmarks and notebooks?
Everything is so disposable these days (I sound so old). My parents actually still have a pair of scissors that I used for crafts growing up, whereas our boys have already gone through 2 or 3 pairs! Leather is a material that can last a lifetime. I decided to make a notebook that will do just that. As for the bookmarks, I needed something to make with my scraps so they were a given considering I always have a book on the go.

What makes your products special?
All my products are designed and made by me. A lot of thought and intention goes into their form and function. In their construction, I only use hand tools, no machines or presses. Nothing against electricity, I just love the portability of my work.

Where can people find more of your work?
I have an Etsy shop, The best place online is my instagram @illoleather -just email me if there's something you're interested in. You'll also find me around the city at a ton of markets this year- come say hi!

What is your fondest memory of the library?
I grew up in Airdrie and the library used to be at the T & C. I remember going there as a kid and spending what felt like HOURS looking for books to take home. The best was when you picked a book out and you're name was already on the card- you knew it was a good one then!

What is your favourite book?
I LOVE reading all the Virginia Lee Burton books to our boys (The Little House... too much). For me, I don't really have a favourite book, although I love old Stephen King. I have been keeping a list of books I've read since Nov '09. Some of my comments include "soooooo bad. so bad.", "meh" & "good". The book that had the best rating "soooo good!" was The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. I remember vowing to not read the sequel because the story was perfect and I just wanted to leave it at that.

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