Erling and Borge Tannery - the last of the very best

Most mornings I look at a number of blogs or web sites about architecture and design. Another Something and Company - a design agency from Amsterdam - is particularly good and regularly update their pages and also have a tumblr under the heading Our Current Obsessions, with comments, discussions and links to a range of design and fashion subjects.

The main post this morning was about the Norwegian tannery of Erling and Borge on the island of Osterøy just north of Bergen. The tannery supplied leather of the highest quality to manufacturers around the World but closed in 2010 and the article is principally photographs and a link to filmed interviews with Erling Teigland who worked in the tannery from 1970 until it closed. The three short films by the studios Of and With from Bergen are beautiful but wistful and were made for the Bergen company ÆTT who produced a number of fine bags from the last leather to come out of the tannery before it closed. The films can be viewed on the ÆTT site here.

Erling Teigland, with a wry sense of humour, is stoical about the closure of the tannery but surely it is sad and depressing that craft and manufacturing skills, acquired, built on and handed down, in this case, since the tannery opened in 1889 can be seen as redundant, for whatever reason, then written off, dispensed with and allowed to disappear. Once lost, those skills are difficult or usually, in reality, impossible to recover.