Connor Rademaker

Artist & Craftsman

Providing elegant, durable, hand-made leather goods for the modern professional since 2010.

Keeping the proud American tradition of leathercraft - established by saddlemakers like Al Stohlman in the crucible of the American West.

"I work to keep the art and craft alive in the modern day. Honoring the traditional tools, techniques, and materials, applying them to our new and changing lifestyles."


Quality leather goods, made entirely by hand, entirely by one man, every time.

Scroll down to learn more about the process that makes these pieces truly special.


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Featured Products

 
 

The Process

Hand-made for unrivaled beauty and durability.

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The Finest Materials

I work exclusively with vegetable tanned leather from the Hermann Oak Leather Company.

In continuous operation since 1881, they are the oldest tannery in America, and the only people I trust to deliver consistent leather of uncompromising quality.

Vegetable tanning is history's longest standing process for turning animal hides into usable leather.


Using extracts from oak bark and other plants, it creates a tough, hardwearing product with many unique properties, unlike anything else.

Cut by Hand

Mass manufactured leather goods are cut, not with a knife, but with a hydraulic press and die.

While I cannot compete with the speed of this cookie-cutter approach, it is inflexible.

Instead, working by hand allows me to adjust my designs over time or by request. Continuously iterating and refining as each piece teaches me something new about the craft.

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Tooling and Engraving

This decorative process is a part of what makes vegetable tanned leather so unique.


When wet, this leather can be shaped, stamped, and carved into beautiful, permanent low-relief.

An endless variety of patterns can be created, from a simple, tasteful border, to a fully rendered image.


Names and dates can commemorated, carved deeply and irrevocably into the surface.

Individually Dyed and Finished

Conditioning oils are rubbed into the leather. These extend its natural life and give a more supple feeling to the hand.

A flat color dye is brushed evenly across the whole of the piece. This dye penetrates deeply and gives a rich base to the color that will be enhanced in the next step.

An antiquing finish is applied. This clings to the depressions in the leather and darkens, creating contrast for both my engraving work and for the hide's natural variations in texture.

Finally a thin clearcoat is airbrushed on. Delicate enough not to compromise the natural feel of the leather, while still enhancing the leather's natural luster and providing a small degree of water resistance.

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Stitched by Hand

Hand stitching provides a strength and durability that exceeds any machine stitch.

With a machine, once a single stich breaks, the entire seam is compromised and will soon unravel, like the hem of an old shirt. 

With my hand stitching techniques a small knot is tied within each hole as the two needles weave and out of the leather. This creates an unbroken line of stitching on each side. If any one stitch is cut, its opposite still holds fast.

This is knot is where the beautiful "zig-zag" pattern of a hand stitch comes from, a reliable indicator or quality.

Polished Edges

The final touch, and one often skipped by lesser craftsmen looking to save a little time where it might go unnoticed.

When freshly cut the edges of each piece of leather are square and rough. 

Each edge is sanded to be round, flush and smooth, then carefully brush dyed, and when fully prepared, polished to a mirror finish with beeswax. 

This is often imitated with thick edge paints. These cover mistakes and look good, but just long enough to sell, soon beginning to chip away with use.

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Queries and Commissions

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