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Thomas Carlisle

Thomas Carlisle

Kentucky Crafted Artist
  • Fiber; Leather


    ​I've always admired the simplicity and durability of ancient craft, and my leather bags are made the same way a prehistoric person would have created a leather bag, primarily for function but resulting in a unique form based on the materials and the process. A leather bag is a very personal item in one's wardrobe. I honor this relationship, creating unpretentious but profound leather bags that express the wearer's style while honoring the bovine lives that nurtured the leather through its first manifestation. Each bag is hand-cut, hand-punched, and hand-laced with 1/8-inch-wide leather lace. The bags are minimalist by design, often including a bespoke or found object as a front-piece decoration.

    I currently produce eight styles, crafted with different types of leather and different embellishments. The leather is usually full-grain, American cow or bison, often distressed in various natural ways. While the styles and leather may sometimes be similar from bag to bag, each bag has its own qualities, either through the leather itself or through my efforts, that make it one-of-a-kind. These bags are made to last and get better with age as they develop their own patina and scars of use, revealing even more history and beauty.

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