Genevieve Story and Peter Yencken
We create functional works of art from leather and other natural materials, including refillable journals, simple wallets, bags, Ball jar handles, sketch book covers, i-phone & i-pad covers and more. We use untreated natural genuine cow leather and leather lacing. Journals contain 100% recycled paper that can easily be replaced for continued use. Jar holders include locally harvested, hand-carved wooden handles. Some bags and wallets include hand-carved wood or black walnut buttons.
All leather products are cut and laced by hand. All designs are burned individually by hand with a burning tool (not a stamp or branding iron). Wooden pieces are carved by hand. Each item is one-of-a-kind, with variation in color, texture and design details.
We take special orders for custom designs and/or sizes and/or products.
Turn-around time for special orders depends on the complexity of the design or product. Journals: 1-2 weeks. Wallets/Bags/jar holders: 2-3 weeks. Special products: 3-4 weeks. We require design and product specifications, contact info and any time constraints to fill special orders.
Your product should last a very long time! The beauty of natural leather is that it inherently changes color and texture with use and exposure. Your product will soften and exhibit beautiful varying honey hues with age. If any part of your purchase breaks or comes loose due to regular wear, we are happy to repair it for you, free of charge. You may choose to oil, wax or condition your product. We suggest Skidmore’s Beeswax products (use as directed).
Lutra Village is a partner project between artist Genevieve Story of Lutra Creations and her craftsman brother-in-law, Peter Yencken of Village Living Skills.
Peter, a mostly self-taught craftsman, grew up on a sheep farm in Australia. He arrived in the US and was a ski instructor on the west coast before coming east to teach wilderness survival skills at Tom Brown’s Tracking and Wilderness Survival School. He founded Village Living Skills with a goal to teach traditional skills for making things by hand that are usable in our everyday lives, bringing a sense of enjoyment not found in the purchase of mass produced items. He has taught students from 5 to 90 years of age how to make leather, wood and felt items such as long bows and arrows, knife handles and sheaths, shoes and boots, backpacks and bags, vests and hats, and more. He teaches classes at The Living Earth School, Waldorf and Montessori schools, for homeschool groups, and for groups or individuals at his home in Charlottesville.
Genevieve recently started her own art and design business, Lutra Creations, after leaving her job of several years as artist and sign maker at Charlottesville’s Whole Foods Market. She currently creates signage, chalkboards, murals and graphics for several local businesses. Creating artistic usable items from reclaimed materials is an ongoing side project. Pyrography design on leather is a recent endeavor, spurred by Peter’s interest in finding a way to decorate his leather products for sale. Genevieve has always had artistic skills but pursued a college education in her other passion, Wildlife Biology. The name “Lutra” comes from the scientific family name for the River Otter. Her love of wildlife and the natural world inspires her designs, with an emphasis on native Virginia flora and fauna.