Arts·Art Minute

At a logging camp to pay for art school, he made pouches from old boots — now he sells custom bags

Lincoln Heller — a "dumpster diver junk collector" — turns unique materials into fine leather goods.

Lincoln Heller — a 'dumpster diver junk collector' — turns unique materials into fine leather goods

Lincoln Heller — a 'dumpster diver junk collector' — turns unique materials into fine leather goods. 1:04

Originally from southern Washington state, designer Lincoln Heller worked in an Alaskan logging camp to pay for his schooling at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. It was there that he began working with leather in his spare time, making tool pouches from discarded boots. And it stuck: upon returning to Vancouver B.C., Heller began crafting custom bags for men.

(Lincoln Heller)

His company, Fiveleft Leather, marries sleek modernism with rugged saddlery tradition by combining distinct finishes with innovative sculptural designs. All production is done in small batches by hand in their Vancouver, B.C. studio. Many of the tools used are over 60 years old and the roots of their techniques go back even further.

Art Minute is a CBC Arts series taking you inside the minds of Canadian artists to hear what makes them tick and the ideas behind their work.

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