863 Magazine Readers’ Art: Lakeland’s Boondock Studios Leather Art

863 Readers’ Art: Boondock Studios Leather Art

(See page 23 in the November 2013 issue of The 863 Magazine for photos.)

They are Boondock Studios: Daniel, Stacy, Kieran, and Molly Tabb. They can be found nearly every Saturday at the Downtown Lakeland Farmers Curb Market, occasionally at other markets and events, and always online. Boondock Studios is a family affair — everyone particiates:

Stacy is a self-taught fiber artist, crocheting and knitting beautiful works of art. She also paints, draws, and designs. She has a great mind for marketing, and opened up her own shop on Etsy.com and was soon supplying assorted props to baby photographers. As her reputation grew, so did her stash of yarn. Recently, Stacy has procured a loom for weaving, and looks forward to a whole new array of beautiful, woven items to sell.

Molly is an instinctive painter. She has been drawing and painting since she was 8 and has already developed her own distinctive style.  She paints on canvas, draws on anything that will hold still long enough (including a sleeping cat once). She’s invented her own animal forms painted on burlap. In fact, it was a school project of Molly’s that inspired the family to start making the leather masks that are new in their shop this season.

Kieran is also a painter in his own right, and a budding photographer. He frequently volunteers at the market and is such an integral part of Boondock Studios that they say they literally couldn’t get on the road without him. He has taught himself the guitar, the ukulele, and is now working on violin. He often plays out in the street in front of the booth to the delight of passersby. He is learning to do leather work as well.

Daniel started working with leather when he was a child, learning from his father. He picked the hobby up again later in life and those old memories of lessons at his father’s knee came rushing back to him. With tools in hand, he began to have a serious hobby. When the stacks of hides began to rival Stacy’s yarn stash, they decided it was time to get serious and sell their creations at weekend markets. Boondock’s leather products now include wallets, purses, jewelry, and of course, the masks.

Boondock Studio’s big hit this autumn is their new line of masks, which are handpainted, molded, stitched, and sculpted. Ranging from simple superhero types that sell for $35 to the fantastical that sell for hundreds, they have all worked together as a family to design, shape, paint and dye these one-of-a-kind creations.

The family’s primary philosophy is that nothing goes to waste: they use everything they can, then use it again if there is any scrap left over. They also only buy from North American tanneries and leather companies, use eco-friendly dyes and finishes, and they have great relationships with some of the best local fiber providers. Their custom work is always the best quality in materials and workmanship that they can possibly provide.

For more info: BoondockStudios.com.