Friday, February 27, 2009

Collier Leeds

Today I am pleased to introduce Mary Oswald of Virginville, PA, from Collier Leads on Etsy and
She makes these outstanding handcrafted dog collars. I always admire high quality collars because I have 4 dogs and only two currently wear a collar because it is so hard to find one that is attractive, comfortable and good quality. If you are looking for these same qualities in your collars you must check out Mary's shop.

What inspired you to make this product?
Several years ago I visited Leeds Castle in Kent, England where they have a dog collar museum, probably the only one in the world. The collars on display span over 5 centuries. I was so impressed with the design, quality and importance placed on the collars I wanted to adorn my own dogs with something as special. Unable to find the qualities I desired, I decided to make my own.

What inspires you on a daily basis?
I am inspired daily by the search for excellence. I am always looking at my work and wondering how I can make it better. I am constantly tweeking. It can get very frustrating sometimes but in the end I know it will be worth it. My work has changed dramatically since I first started and I would imagine it will evolve more still.

Where do you live and how does that influence your art?
I live in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch country. It is not uncommon to do business with the Mennonite community or see the Amish traveling in their horse and buggies. They have a real need for sturdy leather products because of the farm work they do. The utilitarian quality of their leather goods helps to remind me that my art is functional and used on an animal. I must keep that in mind when I design each collar and the choice of materials I use.

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