Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Making some improvements

Learning how to become a better leather craftsman was an ongoing process but since I loved doing that it didn't seem like work. One of the first things I wanted to do with the interior and exterior of the Leather Shop was to fix them up. The interior's floor was covered with bits and pieces of old linoleum and the walls were covered with dirty boards that were meant to look like old barn wood. I set out to change how the place look with a nicely sanded and varnished hardwood floor and new rough cut cedar wood for the walls. An electrician was hired to upgrade the outlets and the new lighting that I installed. One of the new local shops was the Stained Glass Studio. Marshall Bartos was the owner and he made some beautiful stained glass panels for the florescent lights. I also put in track spot lights to highlight the leather products.
Here is a picture of the interior:

The Leather Shop - 1971

When I took the remodeling plan to the city of Milwaukee to obtain a building permit, I had labeled that shelf you see in the upper left of the above picture as a "loft". The building department had a fit and said I couldn't put in a loft but one wise man in that department took out his pencil and labeled it a shelf. Permit obtained and work began. The barber chair was an antique I bought and had reupholstered. 

For the outside of the building I  used several new signs that were emblazoned with my new logo. A local and very talented artist named John Gruzis designed the logo used on the sign and also for business cards and stationery. When the Avant Garde on north Prospect closed, the owner Gordy Simon sold me the light fixture that hung in front of this pioneer beatnik coffee house. The light can be seen below hanging in front of the entrance.

Here is a picture of the exterior:

 The Leather Shop - 1971

The sign John Gruzis crafted is displayed below. Painted using the durable paint called One Shot.

The Leather Shop Logo - 1971

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