Chilean leather artisan Mr Pedro Perez Reveco
A brief introduction
Master leather artisan in Chile is what comes to mind in this post. We explore the ancient craft’s rich history in South America.
The Legacy of Chilean Leather Artisans
Many leather artisans in the country have dedicated their lives to perfecting their craft, and they have passed down their knowledge and skills from generation to generation. In this post we want to share a little bit about the history of the craft, and the incredible work that goes into creating high-quality leather goods and highlight the work done by Mr Pedro Perez Reveco, a Chilean leather artisan that creates amazing and timeless leather pieces
Leather-working: A Chilean Cultural Staple
Leather-working has been a part of Chilean culture for centuries. The skilled indigenous Mapuche people used leather to create clothing, footwear, and other goods. When the Spanish arrived in Chile in the 16th century, they introduced their leatherworking techniques. These were combined with the Mapuche’s methods to develop a unique Chilean style of leather-working.
Artisan Spotlight: Mr. Pedro Perez Reveco
Over time, leather-working became an important part of the Chilean economy, and many leather workshops sprang up across the country. Today, leather-working is still an important part of Chilean culture, and there are many skilled artisans who continue to practice this ancient craft, just like Mr Pedro is, a master at what he does.
The Art of Leather-working
Leatherwork is a complex and time-consuming process that requires skill, patience, and attention to detail and we had the luck and joy to witness Mr Pedro at his workshop that is located at the back of his house somewhere in Santiago.
(There are artisan markets in Santiago where leather goods can be found, one of them is los dominicos handicraft artisan market)
He began this by selecting the right type of leather for the project. There are many different types of leather available, each with its own unique qualities and characteristics. Some types of leather are more durable than others, while others are softer and more flexible and Mr Pedro has at his disposal only the best type.
Once the leather has been selected, he began the process of cutting and shaping it. This requires a steady hand and a sharp eye, as even the smallest mistake can ruin the entire piece. After the leather has been cut and shaped, he put it all together with stitching. This requires a massive level of skill, as the stitches must be straight and even to ensure that the finished product looks immaculate and professional.
Once the stitching is complete, the leather piece must be dyed and Mr Pedro does it with confidence and at ease.
The dye must be applied evenly, and the leather must be allowed to dry thoroughly before any further work can be done. Finally, the leather piece must be finished and polished yet again with skills and patience.
Challenges of Being a Leather Artisan
Being a leather artisan in Chile is not an easy job. There are many challenges that these skilled craftsmen and women face on a daily basis. One of the biggest challenges is competition from mass-produced goods that are often cheaper and easier to find than handmade leather pieces.
(We think it is important to showcase and highligh different crafts and people, just like we did in this blogpost about the Chilean Aymara)
Another challenge is finding high-quality leather which in this case, he does by having the right places to go and knowing the right people. While there are many different types of leather available in Chile, not all of them are of the highest quality. Some artisans are forced to import leather from other countries, which can be expensive.
Despite these challenges, he dedicates himself to his craft and is determined to keep the tradition alive. He achieves this by teaching his sons the craftsmanship and artistry for which he is renowned.
Supporting Local Leather Artisans
Leathersmithing is more than just a craft – it’s a tradition that has been passed down through generations. In Chile, the art of leathersmithing is an important part of the country’s cultural heritage, and many artisans take great pride in keeping this tradition alive. Mr Pedro spoke to us and showed us photos of his family while telling us all about his art and it was a moving moment that will be always cherished.
By supporting local leathersmiths, we can help preserve this important cultural tradition and ensure that it continues to thrive for generations to come while getting a unique piece that you’ll treasure for years to come.
In Conclusion: Celebrating Leathersmithing
Leathersmithing is a beautiful and complex craft that requires a high degree of skill and dedication. In Chile, many skilled artisans continue to produce beautiful, high-quality leather pieces using traditional techniques that have been passed down through the generations.
By supporting local leathersmiths in Chile or in whichever country you are, we can help preserve this important cultural tradition and ensure that it continues to thrive for generations to come. Whether you’re a lover of beautiful leather pieces or simply appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into producing them, leathersmithing is definitely worth celebrating.
Extra: Mr. Pedro’s Literary Side
Oh, and besides being a leathersmith Mr Pedro Perez reveco also loves to write. He has published a book that surprisingly isn’t about leather stories but about his many travels with family and friends through the Chilean Andes. A book named “Cronicas Cordilleranas”.
You can find his book in this link (Not sponsored)
Check our short film with Mr Pedro Perez while he is doing what he does best.
We will soon tell you more about it in our upcoming Podcast episode about the experience to meet Mr Pedro Perez Reveco so stay tuned.