About the Artist

Ron Tidrow in his workroom

Experience is a useful tool for a designer. For nearly 35 years I designed hundreds of items in leather.

My work has included everyday items for people, special projects for industry, media, television, and commissions.

However, most of my craft history has pertained to the participation in town festivals and the largest craft shows in Canada.

My first artistic experience was seeing a glassblowing craftsman create glass shapes for neon signs at my grandfathers’ workshop over 50 years ago. I could not understand how the glassblower could create little glass animals from a glowing orange ball of molten glass for my brother and me. I grew up with very little art training, but often watched my mother mix oils and make large colourful paintings on canvas. It was a lifelong activity for her.

After graduating from university, and living in Toronto, my leather craft experience started as a pastime for me, but it quickly became a profession during the Canada wide craft explosion of the 1970’s. It was at this time that I discovered my fascination and my need “to create something from nothing” like that glassblower did so long ago.

Leather is a fascinating, and sometimes frustrating building material. It can be thin, thick, laminated, decorated, fragile and is wonderfully durable.

Over the years, I have combined many varieties of leather and techniques to produce my completed artworks.

The inspiration for the decorative aspects in my work is greatly influenced by the bright and unusual colour-schemes seen in nature. After more than 35 years of creativity, I continue to express my passion for working with leather. Many of leather products now have bold combinations, alongside traditional colours.

Ron at his leather sewing machine.