Captivating!” was how one resident described last Wednesday’s presentation by Champlain Leather owner Nancy Kirby, and she wasn’t exaggerating. Kirby wowed us by bringing a wide range of strange and fascinating vintage objects she’s collected during her more than forty years working as a leather artisan.

From taxidermied frogs to swatches of alligator skin; fur caps and tiny moccasins designed to fit a newborn baby’s tiny feet– we enjoyed this incredible version of Show and Tell and hearing Kirby’s tales of life at Champlain Leather, her store on upper Cherry Street.

Kirby has been making leather objects since she was a girl and got her start selling small hand made leather pouches on Church Street in the 1970’s.

When she met fellow leather-maker Jeremy Bond, “it was either compete with each other in the leather business or partner up. I suggested we partner up and get married,” She says with a laugh.  Partner up they did.

The rest as they say is history.

 

-Kristin D’Agostino