Garry Greenwood's Leather Alchemy
Works in Leather by Garry Greenwood
Using hides from the finest vellum to the most robust buffalo leather, Garry Greenwood (1943–2005) transformed supple sheets into sculpture using the techniques of wet-forming, laminating and carving.
Since the Renaissance, shoe heels have been made by cutting shapes from blocks of laminated leather, but Greenwood extended this technique by forming and moulding layers of wet leather which adopt a permanent shape once dry. Sometimes he beat sheets of thick leather over a round river stone to stretch and change the fibres, forcing the hide into shapes it would not normally take.
Staining, painting and polishing the finest leather surface complete the transformation. Illusion occurs.
Garry Greenwood was also an inventor in the area of alternative music technology. His refinement of leather-working techniques led to an interest in the acoustic properties of leather. Bow Horns, Suspended Harmonics, Dragon Bassoons and Mountain Harps are pioneering musical instruments.