Can we just be serious for a moment? I have a problem of deep concern that I need to address with you folks. The issue is this: should I become a street performer in downtown Kona? You see, I’m going to need some extra cash to take care of some important business: the purchasing of the ENTIRE collection from Busk and Bask! Gotcha!
Ya’ll know I’ve got a thing for natural leather, so when Adam Nance approached me about doing a LAB feature, and then I saw these smooth and fantastic leather offerings, I had to say yes. Adam and his wife Danise are creating from their studio in the Mohave Desert of Nevada. I believe that their collection of leather goods needs to be seen far and wide. Hence, the next installment in my Handmade Profiles series.
Busk and Busk was started “as a creative exploration and personal inquiry into quality, with the sole intent of creating modern, minimally designed bags and dry goods that people will love and hold onto.” I think you’ll see from both the interview and the goods on display that Adam and Danise are well on their way to fulfilling that goal. Enjoy the interview and then please, go over to Busk and Busk and get your hands on one of these handmade treats. Meanwhile, I’m trying on my tap shoes. You’ll find me doing my Danny Glover impression downtown. Let Adam and Danise know you saw them on the LAB via Twitter @buskandbusk.
What inspired you to begin your collection?
Great question. Actually it was furniture. We originally purchased an industrial sewing machine to reupholster our flea market and consignment store finds. We had zero idea what we were doing however in learning how the machine worked, we just had a blast. Our wood skills being limited, we found the most enjoyment creating bags and other small goods. We naturally transitioned from that point into experimenting with stitchless construction and other origami inspired techniques. We immediately had a clear vision and look that we were after.
What inspires you to create?
The shapes and textures of our natural desert surroundings are the main influence. We are very much interested in the clean minimalist palette of the desert flora and all of the beautiful natural geometric shapes that occur in nature. It is such a joy to see ideas and designs go from paper folding and prototyping to a tangible, durable good. All from a pile of paper airplanes!
“The very nature of our surrounding desert and its clean simplicity serve as our singular design inspiration and motivation to keep only what is necessary. Through non-traditional construction techniques and an enthusiasm for modern architecture and geometric shape, the range is designed and built to showcase the true beauty of pure functionality.” – Busk and Bask
What materials do you love to use?
We work primarily with vegetable tanned leather and canvas. We also use selvage denim from Cone Mills and Japanese selvage denim from Nihon Menpu. Teak, Mahogany, and Black Walnut wood are used as the [base | bag floor] in several of our pieces. All of our hardware is low lead solid brass.
Every product has a story. Is there a story behind one of your pieces?
We definitely have a story behind the creation of each piece, but it is our ultimate goal to have the story told by the owner. We have boots and jackets we’ve owned for years from various companies that were no doubt made with love, and we wouldn’t part with them for anything. We put a lot of effort into making sure our creations will hold up and that they will hopefully be passed down one day.
Where’s the furthest place you’ve sent one of your creations?
So far, just within the U.S., but we will ship internationally, if any of our international friends so desire.
Do you have a dream collaborator?
There are so many great designers that we admire, but just to be really different it would probably have to be a musician such as Scott, and Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers. We have been long time fans and admirers of their music, honesty and truth. They are both artists in multiple mediums, and seasoned travellers. We are sure something special would come from it.
What challenges do you face as a maker?
Really, as a small startup, it is about time management. From the designing and making of goods to the sourcing of materials, the day, as you know goes by in a flash!.
How do you use social media/blogging to promote your work?
This has been really fun, yet challenging, to go from our comfort zone of making, to figuring out exactly how we can communicate with and get to know our customers. We are documenting quite a bit of behind the scenes shop footage, that we plan on sharing soon, and that should be fun. We love transparency and the ability to see the people and stories behind the goods that we live with.
Where do you see your shop/project going?
That is the most inspiring thing to think about as a maker. Once you have an understanding of your tools and materials, it just continues to evolve. We have designs on a storefront if the right place in the right location becomes available.
What are you working on right now?
We are currently working on expanding our veg-tan collection and the concept of single piece construction. We have a few larger travel and luggage pieces in development as well as a backpack that we are super excited about. The new pieces will feel right for both the urban design professional and for accompanying you on a little trip up to the cabin.