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Posts Tagged "italy"


the (nearly-lost) ancient art of vegetable-tanned leather

Posted by Crystalyn Brennan on

In May 2018, I spent nearly a month in Tuscany, immersed in a region renown for olive oil, wine, truffles and leather. Inspired by a culture so connected to the land in a mindful way, I relished this rare opportunity to explore an ancient tradition working with vegetable-tanned leather.

I am a material driven-designer, with longevity and timelessness being paramount to my aesthetic: any object of value has to tell a story.  Working with this pliable material in its natural state enabled me to combine my skills in textiles and woodworking in the most exhilarating way.⁣

Here's a peek behind the scenes of creating the collection.

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a week in Harry Potter's Italian nunnery

Posted by Crystalyn Brennan on

All sacrilege aside, I truly cannot find a better way to describe the atmosphere of my exceptional residence this week.  Tucked just outside the city walls of San Miniato lies a 14th century monastic nunnery, Monastero di Santa Chiara, which will be our home base for the week while we explore the vegetable-tanned leather region of Tuscany.
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debunking leather myths and eating my way through italy

Posted by Crystalyn Brennan on

 I was recently invited to participate in first-person full-sensory experience to the cultural context of vegetable-tanned leather in its birthplace in a tiny village in Tuscany called San Miniato. 

As an artisan, this invitation is obviously a bucket-list opportunity and a welcome catalyst to experiment - to stretch myself in ways I don’t usually have opportunity or resources to try.

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Behind the Scenes


About Crystalyn Kae

Crystalyn Kae Brennan Crystalyn is a handbag designer in Brooklyn, NY. Her sustainable luxury handbags are made in USA with ethically-sourced leather and unique vintage fabrics. Read more »


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