Canadian Leathercrafter M-J-J-A – 2022 – Newsletter by CSCL

The Canadian Society for Creative Leathercraft


Volume LXVIIII No. 4


cscl.bmpMay, June, July, August – 2022
Leathercraft by Nancy Durham, FCSCL 2022.jpg

Leathercraft by Nancy Durham, FCSCL:  Mahogany-stained leather box inlaid with lizard-skin, Scalloped edge leather belt, Maple leaf motif molded bowl.

In this Edition…

Page 2 Notes from the Editor, Highlights of the past Executive Mtgs, Membership Info, CSCL Larmour Library

Page 3 – Tracey Howard has been busy, Annual photo competition judging results

Page 4 – 5 – Artisan of Yester Year – Edith Melchior-Hawkins 1922 -1995

Page 6 – CSCL Honorary Life Membership Awarded to Nancy Durham, FCSCL

Page 7 – 8 – Al Stohlman WalletBacks

©2022 Canadian Society for Creative Leathercraft All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder is prohibited.

To contact any of our Executives please refer to the CONTACT section of our Website.



Download PDF: Canadian-Leathercrafter-M-J-J-A-2022.pdf

President: Lauch Harrison

1st Vice-Pres.: Jim Wilkes

Past President: Jim Wilkes

Treasurer: Della Chynoweth

Secretary: Lauren Malec

Membership: Kim Winchester

Editor: Barbara Chynoweth

ECO: Eugene Pik

Privacy Officer: Lauch Harrison

Workshops: Lauch Harrison, Jim Wilkes

Note from the Editor….

The Newsletter “Canadian Leathercraft” is your source of information about CSCL and its members. Also check out the CSCL website at and CSCL’s Facebook page.

I am always looking for articles for the Newsletter, do you have a project that you have done that you think everyone would be interested in seeing, we are looking for articles?

Highlights from the Past Executive Council Meetings….

Well the Zoom 72nd Annual Meeting went very well. We are hoping that the 2023 will actually be a live event. Thank you to all who attended the ZOOM.

Things have been very quiet as we do not have Executive meetings in the summer. The Workshop Committee is working on preparing a Workshop at Norland on September 17th; they have not said what it will be on yet. They are always looking for ideas, so let them know what you would like to learn next.

CSCL Membership

Have you paid your membership? It’s a new Membership Year (April 1 to March 31).

  • If you are joining trough a branch pay your CSCL membership to the Branch Treasurer along with your branch membership fee.
  • If you are joining as a Member-at-Large or Sustaining Member send your membership payment to the CSCL Treasurer: Della Chynoweth, 3350 Monck Road, Norland, Ontario K0M 2L0 or you can e-transfer to [email protected]. Please be sure to include your contact information.
General Member:

Individuals interested in leathercraft who belong to one of the CSCL Branches. (Need not be a leathercraft person.) $40.00 plus your Branch membership fee

General Member – Student*:

A registered full-time student shall pay $5.00


Individual interested in leathercraft who does not belong to one of the CSCL Branches. (Need not be a leathercraft person.) $40.00

Sustaining Member:

Commercial Organizations interested in supporting the Society. $100.00 or material equivalent to $100.00.

CSCL Larmour Lending Library

The CSCL lending Library of Books and Patterns can be referenced on our web site Head to Gallery and click on CSCL Library of Books and Patterns.

Under the Pattern option there is 80 pages of patterns that may give you ideas of things to make. Under the Book section there is 13 pages of titles of Books and DVD’s about Leather crafting, design and colour.

Remember these patterns and books are there for you to borrow from the library. Select item(s) you would like to borrow and send your list to Paul Kitchener at [email protected].

Branch Presidents will assist in pickup and delivery of the orders from branch members.

Members-at-large may order directly from Paul and arrange shipping or printing options, fees may apply.

Memberships are due by March 31st

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Northern Update

Tracey Howard from the Norland Branch has been busy the last couple of months.

She covered the cow skull above.

The skull is covered in Moose hide that she burned a design on to, the horns have a brown piece of alligator on each side and it is trimmed with braided deer hide that has been singed with a torch.

To the right is a Mandela that Tracey has also completed. The hoop is wrapped in deer hide.

She carved the centre piece of leather for the Mandela and then coloured it.

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Green Letter Opener & Rope Work Buckle – Lauch Harrison

Leather Chairs Upholstery – Eugene Pik

Blue Snake Skin Watch Band – Julien Jans

Cranes Purse, Spring Purse, Ocean Treasure Purse, The Three Graces – Gregory Belenky

Japanese Long Wallet, Book Cover – James Wilkes


Cranes Purse, Ocean Treasure Purse – Gregory Belenky


Best General Member Entry Cranes Purse – Gregory Belenky

Betty Heacock Memorial Award for Best Novice Entry $50 Blue Snake Skin Watch Band – Julien Jans

Woodstock Heritage Award $50 Book Cover – James Wilkes

Robert Muma Award $50 for Best Tooling or Colouring Ocean Treasure Purse – Gregory Belenky

Best in Show $50 Cranes Purse – Gregory Belenky

Artisan of Yester Year

Edith Melchior-Hawkins 1922 -1995

Accomplished Leathercraft Artisan

Member of the Canadian Society for Creative Leathercraft – Tillsonburg Branch

Achieved Associate designation 1956

Achieved Fellowship April 12, 1958

Executive Council – 1971 -1972

Lifetime Membership April 25 1992

Edith made her life as a Tobacco farmer just outside of Port Burwell, Ontario with her husband Mario Melchior. Along with the various household chores and the daily rigors of maintaining the tobacco farm, Edith found the time to make dresses and clothing for her two daughters Shirley and Marg. One of Edith’s favorite interests was Leathercraft to which she had excelled. In 1955 and 1956, she was fortunate to have trained under Robert Muma and was awarded a Certificate of Merit from Mumart Studios of Creative Leathercraft. She won many awards and ribbons over the years. As she became a proficient Leathercrafter, she shared her talents with others and began to teach folks the skills of leathercraft. Shirley and Marg often remember 6 or 7 people in their home learning the craft from Edith. They still have the teaching aids she used to help new comers to the trade.

You will see from the photos, Edith’s level of skill she possessed. The fit and finish are far superior from most leather work done today. These items were made in the 1950’s – 1960’s. After 60 years, these items have aged so well, they will serve very well for generations to come.

The love of the arts was shared by both her daughters, Shirley and Marg. Both ladies did have their chores around the farm, and there was many. They always made time to sew a new dress or do something creative. As Shirley explained, Marg has the natural artistic talent while she had to work extra hard. It was Marg however, that took up leathercraft. Learning from her mother in the 1970’s, Marg did leathercraft for about 3 years making purses, wallets, key cases, belts and also recovered a Western saddle. It was through doing leather work that led her to her lifelong career. From sewing change pockets for wallets led to repairing canvas tents and fabric camping trailers which branched into truck tarpaulins and Industrial sewing.

Marg Hornsby, mother of two daughters, Grandmother of two, is an Entrepreneur whom started her own business in 1975, “Hornsby Canvas and Tarpaulin Ltd”. After 47 years, she has turned the reins over to her daughter. Marg is not really retired, just changing phases to try her hand at quilting.

Shirley Biro chose a different career from the arts. As a mother of three girls, and a Grandmother to eleven, is now a retired Registered Nurse. She went to Fanshawe College in the late 1980’s and received a designation as a Canadian Certified Occupation Health Nurse (CCOHN), which is the highest certification for an OHN, at that time. She recalls working in the off season for Imperial Tobacco before it shut down its processing plant in Aylmer.

Thank you to both Shirley and Marg for sharing your Mother, Edith’s work with us. Edith’s Leather work is truly inspirational.

Some of Edith’s work
C:\Users\Barbara\Pictures\CSCL\Edith thumbnail_Binder - SAM the cat - 1.jpgC:\Users\Barbara\Pictures\CSCL\Edith thumbnail_black purse 11.jpgC:\Users\Barbara\Pictures\CSCL\Edith thumbnail_black purse 1.jpg
C:\Users\Barbara\Pictures\CSCL\Edith thumbnail_Ladies Wallet and  coin pouch 1.jpgC:\Users\Barbara\Pictures\CSCL\Edith thumbnail_Cream Clutch 2.jpgC:\Users\Barbara\Pictures\CSCL\Edith thumbnail_Handbag & coin pouch 1.jpg

CSCL Honorary Life Membership Awarded to Nancy Durham, FCSCL

On Saturday, May 14, 2022, CSCL’s 72nd Annual General Meeting, held as a virtual program for the second consecutive year, delivered several pleasant surprises with one key moment that captured the well-deserved recognition for CSCL’s 2022 Honorary Life Membership recipient: Nancy Durham, FCSCL.

Nancy Durham is a Woodstock-area artist who has enjoyed producing fine leather products for retail.

She has expertly served CSCL and since earning her Fellows, concurrently as a busy grandmother, remains dedicated to her duties as a CSCL judge. The Council of Fellows know her to be a fair and knowledgeable judge when evaluating articles and for regularly providing rides to Annual meetings and Fellow judging assignments: “Nancy knew her leathers so very well,” commented nomination members.

Nancy was working with leather long before she joined CSCL in 1987. As a teenager she fashioned a knapsack-like carrier for her books. Perhaps it was an early move next door to a farm with saddlery that galvanized her as a leathercrafter. Soon she established her home-based business called The Leather Crafter in her own leather studio that she and her husband Dave built in Princeton, Ontario.

Nancy learned to shape, mould, carve and tool leather through her membership in the Woodstock Branch of CSCL. A former president of the branch several times over, in 2000 Nancy was elected to a two-year term as national president of CSCL which was then celebrating its 50th anniversary. She has taught seminars on such topics as Lasted Boxes and in 2004 taught Youth workshops on leathercrafting.

As well as teaching, this artist has been profiled in the media, published in Canadian Leathercraft, competed, exhibited and retailed her work extensively. Her work earned her honours and awards, often for buckles, belts or cases.

Her artistic talent has been recognized throughout the years, including the Ontario Crafts Council Design Award for a mahogany-stained leather box inlaid with lizard-skin. In 2004 she was the recipient of a 15-year Ontario Volunteer Service Award from CSCL.

Good spiritedly, Nancy has been a constant mentor, attentive to the skill development of workshop attendees and known to provide an abundance of samples at her own workshops. Her technical excellence and readiness to effectively demonstrate leathercraft, has viably sustained CSCL’s standards.

“Our warmest Congratulations!” Canadian Society for Creative Leathercraft, 2021-23 Executive Council.

Al Stohlman WalletBacks

Pressed copies of Stohlman Bill folds

Here are three examples of Al Stohlman’s work, these walletbacks are pressed into the well cased leather and they deliver a stunning view of his tooling abilities. The fidelity of the copy process is amazing. The originals are cast using a liquid resin like epoxy that sets very hard. Then the original is replaced with the cased leather and a hydraulic press pushes the die (the hardened cast) into the leather.

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Figure 1: Al Stohlman Charro Scene

The depth and precision of the tool work is exceptional and the way the beveling and shading moves out from the image without any definable tool strokes is something carvers should strive for.

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Figure 2: Al Stohlman Longhorn

These Bill Folds may have been used for Craftaids if you have any matching items in your collections of patterns please let me know. With the Craftaid and the tool listing we would be able to do a carving workshop. With the finished product to give us a view of how the carving can look.

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Figure 3: Al Stohlman Whitetail Deer

The walletbacks may have shown up on Doodle Pages or in a book of patterns if you come across them drop me a line. Best of luck for the summer.

Lauch Harrison FCSCL

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