As mentioned in a Tweet earlier, we moved into a new space and are trying to unpack as quickly as possible as to resume a sense of normalcy. The new spot is near District La Brea and, while taking an unpacking break, we decided to wander up the street to grab a bite at Sycamore Kitchen and then pop into a few stores. The store we were most pleasantly surprised with was Shelter Half as their current crop of goods are so finely selected and surprisingly local. A lot of the makers were familiar—Paper Chase, Ben Medansky, Aether, etc.—but there were a few eye catchers we hadn’t heard of. Most notable was leather maker Made Solid, an experimental craft outlet for local Peter Maxwell. He makes very simple, often wild items.
Maxwell hand makes little leather vessels from sunglasses cases to trays to notebook holders. There are a few varieties of finishes that allow you to do with the goods as you want. If you would like to break in your own goods, get something from the Classic Collection. Want something a little more rustic? Go for the Rugged Collection. Maxwell makes in a very traditional style and even uses “Civil War Era bone buttons” on occasion, according to the description of his work.
The most unique, most eye catching items in his repertoire are those from the experimental MS Limited collection. There is a flair to these works that take them out of tradition and into an entirely new zone, which is what we love to see. He makes tie-dyed pouches and dip-dyed trays, both of which are conceptually simple and executed perfectly. Subtle color exercises like the Four Corners Box also show that Made Solid isn’t content being a regular leather maker. They want to stand out—and they do.
If you want to ogle these goods in person, we definitely suggest you stop into Shelter Half to see them. They’re also carried at Long Beach’s Orn Hansen but otherwise can be purchased online.