Our round of Leather Lockbox Bags is back out on the studio floor today to be painted, ground, and polished. This could be called an auxiliary step in the process of making a bag as it doesn’t contribute anything structural: the Lockbox would still function if this step were to be skipped over. But what our painting process does contribute is added longevity for each design and a clear example of our commitment to quality. It’s an action whose value only becomes evident with the passage of time, but because we want each of our bags to last through generations, that value definitely has its place with our customers and in our studio.
Every edge of every piece of the Lockbox will be painted and polished multiple times to effectively “raise the grain” of the leather. Painting these unfinished edges causes errant fibers to resurface above the paint, and grinding removes them, albeit along with some of the paint. The goal is to reach a point where the paint’s pigment has been buffed right into the leather and no coarse fibers are present, which usually takes at least four and up to seven rounds of repetition.
This is all a little arduous, but taking the time to smooth it all out—literally—adds years to the lifetime of our bags. The peeling and splitting that tend to occur on the edges of some leather goods is a near impossibility thanks to our artisans that take the time to paint and polish everything. Because of their hard work, these Lockboxes will go on to look as amazing in ten years as the day they go out the door and into the world.