you see CORSETS at a faire? Are you looking for Laced Ladies? Call Sue
"Loads of goods for
Men and Women!"
- Armor (men & women),
Belts, Pouches, Mugs,
Games, Jerkins, Bottells,
Cinchers; lots More!
- Belts, Baldrics, Bags,
Gun stuff, much More!
About Leather Lore
Awards & Honors
Bags & Pouches
Belt, Santa Claus
Books & Journals
Bracers of Gondor
More index below...
Care of Bottells
Care of Leather
Care of Mugs
Care of Pitch Items
Credit Card Orders
More index below...
our contact info?
Join our mailing list?
Dead Man's Chest
Facts about Pirates
Ferry, Lake Express
More index below...
Gothic, sort of
Hard End Bags
Honors & Awards
How to Order
Jacks & Mugs
Journals & Books
More index below...
Lake Express Ferry
Letter of Marque
Life in the 1500's
Massacre & Feast
Mayfaire Ren Faire
Medieval Sword Sling
Mich Ren Fest
Mugs & Jacks
National Treasure II
New Jersey Ren
Northwood Ren Fest
Order of Red Raven
More index below...
Pilgrim, What Is
Red Raven, order of
Santa Claus Belt
Scaled Armor Skirt
Schedule of Events
More index below...
Sizing & Sizes
Skirt, Scaled Armor
Skirt, Strap Armor
Spider chain top
St. Valentine's Day
Strap Armor Skirt
Water Bottle Sling
"What is Pilgrim?"
Zodiac, signs of the
for your reference
Heavy Leather Company
"Bringing History and Fantasy to
Promotional and Information Package
George (Chip) Lorimer, Jr. PO Box 4, Bellevue, Michigan, 49021 517-541-0428
Hail and Greetings!
This is intended to be an online
version of the promo packages and materials that I send out. It is set up in the
most common format used by most Faires and Festivals, designed to provide past
history and answers to the most common questions about me and my business. Also,
it is the most up to date version, even above those that are sent out.
Please feel free to browse it all, and don't hesitate to contact me at the
address above with any questions or concerns!
other Renaissance Festivals and Faires
Rather than try to keep another up to
date copy of my show schedule here, just click here to see a list of all past and current
Do you demonstrate?
Space Preferences (Check boxes that apply) TENT (X)
CART ( ) UNSPECIFIED SPACE( )
Tent Size - 10' x 10'; with ropes & stakes 14' x 14'
Special considerations for space?
None. No electricity or water needed.
Will accept standby status? Yes
People are always trying to classify me. For example, since I make leather
armor, someone would classify me as a leather armorer, and tell me that they
have too many at their faire. Or since I make leather clothing, they want to
classify me as a leather clothier, or because I make bags, that I'm a purse
maker. I resist categorization because I do not consider myself simply as an
armorer or bag maker. Rather I am an artist of the medium, not the product. As
with my crafting counterparts of the past, I make all things. Leather working is
my specialty, not just purse making, or armor, or whatever. I make it all.
Although highly limited to the amount that can be shown, the following slides
should give you the idea.
Slide #1 Chess Box. Based on a Spanish 17th century museum piece from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Roughly 15” x 15” X 4”
TECHNIQUES / MATERIALS All hand made. Starts with a pine frame, cut with hand tools, and joined by hand cut dove tail joints. Game board and bottom are fitted into hand cut slots on the frame. Covered in leather that is hand tooled using ten different stamping tools to faithfully recreate the original pattern as close as possible. The box is a two piece design, allowing for storage of game pieces in it’s mahogany lined interior. Example in photo is finished in Antique Mahogany leather stain. This is my crown piece #1 in all of my products, as was largely responsible for me winning “Best Craft Award” from the 2002 Baycrafters Renaissance Fantasy Faire in Bay Village Ohio. In this category I also have roll up leather games, such as Chess, Draughts, and Morris. Roll up versions not in photo because I didn’t make them until after the season last year. Game pieces are hand made leather chess and draughts, as well as store bought glass stones. And, although the ladies in the photo were staged, people do come up and start playing real games when on display.
MAKER: Me PRICE RANGE Box - $450.00. Roll up versions $35.00 -$125.00
Slide #2 Armor & clothing.
TECHNIQUES / MATERIALS All items I will describe are hand made, and even 90% hand stitched. Anything with rivets is riveted by hand and mallet, not a die and press. All designs are my own, not store bought patterns. Featured here are the two Warrior Girl designs that drew much attention - mostly because of fit. I’ve actually filed for a patent for a floating cup feature of the ladies top that allows the top to fit nearly everyone! It drew much attention from both customer and crafter. Customers that bought them told me that they’ve never been able to find one that fits, and fellow crafters complimented me on my results. I also do scale and plate armor, as well as corsets, jerkins, and doublets. Adding to this years line (and sadly not pictured) are long plain and ringed coats as inspired by the likes of “Conan the Barbarian” and “The Fellowship of the Ring” styles. Also not pictured are a line of ladies pigskin halters and such. As a side note, let me state that even though pictured, I do NOT sell weapons. Festival photos of these people with weapons are posing with my own, and at the guidance and permission of festival security staff. In the event that I work on a custom order where I need to remove the peace tie, I carry ties with me and withhold the weapon behind the counter until I replace the peace tie when I’m done. Of course, I will abide by any festival security rules.
MAKER: Me PRICE RANGE $35.00-$210.00
Slide #3 Examples of my Art and Tooling
TECHNIQUES / MATERIALS The Maple leaf Bag was embossed with an actual Maple Leaf, and then accented on the edges by my hand. The jester bag was a custom order for the one man show “House of Fools”, a Renaissance Faire entertainer in Ohio. I took a photograph of his actual banner and was able to duplicate his image directly to the bag. Hand tooled and painted to match his requested colors! The family crest is my own, again fully hand tooled and colored to match my research. Lastly, the Bracers of Gondor, featuring a two layer hand stitched armband with accompanying padding. Everything hand made, hand tooled, hand stitched. Exceptions were the padding where I used a machine to stitch, and the buckles themselves; I didn’t make those.
MAKER: Me PRICE RANGE Including full line bracelets and bags $3-$110
Slide #4 Wet Ware - Bottells and Mugs
TECHNIQUES / MATERIALS Bottells (yes, that’s the spelling!) and mugs are again fully hand crafted. Inspired my an old National Geographic article featuring items pulled up from a sunken 16th century vessel, I make three sizes. Starting with sturdy leather, I hand punch and stitch two halves together, soak in water and pound out the shape using sand, a stick and a mallet. After dry, they are lined with molten Pine Tar (or Brewer’s pitch). Completely and 100% authentic, I have trouble keeping these around. This year will feature bottells with tooled designs. The mugs were an offshoot of the bottell idea, due to the fact that I’ve seen too many cheap riveted slabs of leather with plastic inserts, as well as some nicely crafted ones using modern day resin. Notable, but I kicked it up a notch and went for authenticity with the pitch. I even elected to go with hand stitched handles to move away from the common rivet ones. The mugs pictured are my actual first two prototype mugs, they have evolved into better and fancier designs this year.
MAKER: Me PRICE RANGE $20.00-$40.00
Slide #5 Variety
TECHNIQUES / MATERIALS Boy, you know, I sat down and tried to think “How can I show 106 different item in five slides?” Well, I can’t. I can say that all of my stuff is hand made using hand tools, usually not even powered ones. I believe in the craft as a craft, and everything I do I consider to be a piece of art.
Some festivals try to categorize me so they can determine if I’m a competitor to another vendor. “Are you a Leather Armorer, Leather Game maker, Leather Clothier...” etc. You know, I do it all, a little bit of everything. I am a Leather Crafter and I make leather things. All kinds of things. Just like in the days of old, I am a crafter of the material, not the product. I don’t know how else to put it, and I certainly have more than five categories.
MAKER: Me PRICE RANGE All items I sell range - $3.00-$700.00
I certify that all items to be offered for sale are entirely hand-crafted by the applicant and / or contributing artists, except as specifically noted.
Biographical Outline of the Artisan
GALLERIES, MUSEUMS, MAJOR JURIED SHOWS
In 2004, I was asked to provide props for an independent film maker
making the movie “Castlevania – Prelude to War”. After seeing photos of me
he also asked if I would play a small part in his film; as a marauder, and my
small part was a battle scene with the main character. This film is due for May
2004 release, and I will be credited as prop maker.
Also in 2004, I was asked to participate in the “Spring Artisan
Faire” that is held annually at the Van Andel /
Museum. This year the artisan faire was geared up to support the “Gratia Dei”
exhibit running from May to August of 2004. Gratia Dei is Latin for “Grace of
God”, and the exhibit deals with life in the middle ages. I was selected for
the historical accuracy of some of my products
The juried shows I’ve done were the Michigan Renaissance Festival in
Holly, MI. (originally accepted in 2002), the Baycrafters Renaissance Fantasy
Faire in Bay Village Ohio (originally accepted in 2002), the Silverleaf
Renaissance Faire in Galesburg, MI (originally accepted in 2001), the Northwoods
Renaissance Festival in Interlochen, MI. (originally accepted in 2003), and the
Stronghold Olde English Faire in Oregon, IL. (originally accepted in 2002).
Other shows appearing on my schedule are not juried shows. Although I don’t
normally make it a practice, Mich Fest would not accept me until I could
demonstrate that I can sell “everyday” leather products that do not
have a renaissance theme, such as motorcycle saddle bags, studded belts, plain
halter tops, regular purses, and the like. I believe in the renaissance theme,
but if it is requested, I can bring non-renaissance stuff. By the way, just as
with all of my Ren Faire product, all of my non-faire product is also
exclusively designed and fully hand made by me as well.
One of my shoulder bags (the one personally used for myself, in fact) was
purchased by a Conceptual Artist in
. It was to be “Prince Charming’s Leather Satchel”, an artistic display
showing the bag in one case, with its contents in the next. Contents included
snapshots of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Cinderella, a membership card to
“1-800-FLOWERS”, a lock of Rapunzel’s hair, some song bird seed, Snow
White’s lipstick, and a pair of Trojan condoms. This exhibit was on display in
I am talking to an
art gallery about displaying one of my chess boxes and some leather bust
fantasy creature creations I am working on.
Besides the Renaissance Festivals, I also attend the Bertha Brock Spring and Fall Getaways, garbed / themed lodge camping adventure for the family in Ionia Michigan, as well as the annual Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre and Feast. I was invited to participate in the 37th International Congress on Medieval Studies as a vendor in May 2002 at the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo Michigan. Other than that, there are just the Renaissance Festivals I’ve listed prior.
AWARDS AND HONORS RECEIVED
I won “Best Craft Award” from the 2002 Baycrafters Renaissance Fantasy Faire in Bay Village Ohio, which earned me
automatic jury acceptance and no booth fee for the next year as a prize! I also won 2nd best booth
overall for design and appearance at the same fair. Just as with my leather products, I made my own booth as well. See the additional photos at the end of this packet.
I am also an active serving Knight and High Protector of the Realm for the Order of the Red Raven, serving her Majesty, Queen Sue Maxwell (Owner of Ravenwood Castle, a themed Bed & Breakfast in New Plymouth Ohio). I was knighted last year in recognition of my outstanding service to the castle,
it’s staff, and the fair itself.
In 2003 I was awarded a plaque in
recognition of being honored as a preferred vendor for the entertainment group,
the Blue Dragons. It entitles me to their " services and protection", and in turn
they shop with me and earn discounts. The Blue Dragons are a very large
entertainment troop that provide different services to many fairs, including but
not limited to Jail and magistrate entertainment, Food vending, live steel
demonstrations, festival security, and EMT staffing.
PERSONAL HISTORY AS A CRAFTSMAN, MY MOTIVATION AND APPROACH
In the 1970’s my dad took up western
leather craft as a hobby. In 1980 I became affiliated with a heavy metal band that could not find the black leather and stud work that they
needed. I gained access and skill from my dad, and began designing and supplying the band with their needs. I soon found myself selling bracelets and such at clubs and later in magazine ads through the ‘80’s and early 90’s. In 1994 I discovered the Michigan Renaissance Festival, and have been hooked since. Too often I would see people laying out big bucks for leather items that I thought could be done with a little better quality and attention to detail. I began toying with the idea of digging out the leather stuff and getting back into it. It soon became obvious to me that you could find leather armor for men all over the place, but very little for the ladies. With the advent of the Xena television series and such, I decided that would be a market for ladies leather armor, and that I could make something cool AND practical. I started researching women’s fashion and form and went through two failed prototypes before I came upon the fully adjustable design that allows stiff hard leather to comfortably fit nearly every woman that has tried it on! After seeing the response of other crafters, and upon the advice of my friends, I filed for a patent on certain functional elements of the design. But that wasn’t enough to satisfy my artistic drive.
That’s when I
saw the chess box. All I saw was this small black and white photo and a paragraph
barely describing it. Efforts to locate the real thing had been fruitless. None the less, working from the sources at hand, I set out and accomplished the chess box featured in my photos. I was very proud of myself, and realized that with the great accomplishments of the chess box and the ladies fantasy armor top that I could do just about anything I want to in this craft.
Even though it was still a hobby to me, experiments with eBay proved that I had something people wanted, and so I set out to get into some festivals. MRF didn’t want to look at me. Not realizing that there were smaller festivals around I about gave up. Right then someone told me of the Silverleaf festival in Kalamazoo, and so I tried for it - and got accepted in 2001! My divorce forced me to cancel it due to not being able to have any product ready. They told me to come back next
year; I was already confirmed.
In January 2002, I lost my job. I had just finished with the divorce, and was able to sell my house and pay off all debts. Living on my Mom’s property, I suddenly was in a position where I could concentrate full time on the craft without the worry of paying bills, and that is when I went into a full time business, and I had a heck of a first year!
Wow, this was supposed to be short, sorry. As for work philosophy, you’ve probably gathered most of it already. But let say that I don’t want to create the same stuff that everyone else does. I want my own things. Nobody makes the Chess Box. Nobody makes the ladies armor fit like I have. Somebody must, but I’ve not seen it yet.
Sure, I make common things too, like ring belts, weapon’s frogs, and drawstring pouches, but I don’t concentrate on those. In fact, I often recommend other crafters at the festival for many items. I like to find and fill the niches, make the things no one else does, tackle the projects other stay away from, not make the same stuff other people make. My booth even is like a little medieval leather shop, and I believe in the performance and the setting as well as the product. As a ten year manager of a retail photo lab I understand the importance of the customer satisfaction as a whole, and in the festival setting that means the experience as a whole, as well as the product.
And this is my living. Renaissance Festivals and Faires are my passion, but I do also have an online store, and I do leather work in other fields as well, especially in the winter months.
I can’t believe I forgot the flowers! In reviewing my slides I realized that I forgot these! Many other vendors have little ones made from a single strip of leather that are rolled and folded. Mine are made from eight different components assembled and wet molded by hand. And they even smell like roses!
Photos of my Booth
I also made my booth. Although some festivals are less strict than others as to the appearance of vendors booths, I decided that I wanted to go a step further than wrapping some
EZ-Up in canvas or something, so I designed and built this myself! And, believe it or not, I can put it up and take it down solo! The frame consists of cedar corner posts and 2x4’s, covered with a burlap type material. The center pole is an actual tree I cut down and haul with me! Hidden underneath is an actual
EZ-Up nylon cover for rain protection. It is 10’ x 10’ in size. Necessary ropes make it 14’ x 14’.
Baycrafter's Renaissance Fantasy
Stronghold Olde English Faire
Inside a booth at Mich Ren Fest,
using the same framework and display structures.
Heavy Leather Company
"Bringing History and Fantasy to