It’s that time again! Maker’s Monday, comin’ at ya like a northern bullet. Excited is basically my normal state of being (backtrack through my posts, you’ll notice I say it a lot), but I am SERIOUSLY excited for today’s Maker. It’s so nice having this feature come together the way it has, I have a lineup of Makers who are just so dreamy and so many wonderful collaborations ahead because of this. Anyway, onward with today’s post!
Today, I would like to introduce you to Mark Gypson, a Leather Craftsman (among MANY things, check out his typography and other ventures via the Tumblr link below) from Ft. Wayne. I found Mark on Tumblr (I find a lot of things there, ie: Husband) and the things he was making just caught me. I have to say, it was the Brass/Leather rings that roped me in at first, but the rest of his work speaks just as loud. I commissioned him to make a pen roll – pictured above – for my Husband as a wedding day gift and OH MY did that work out nicely. One single piece of leather, crafted carefully into a supple, attractive pen roll that my Husband now takes everywhere with him (did I mention that Mark also tooled Clint’s logo onto the roll? Ugh, so beautiful). Talent and a love for making things, Mark definitely belongs here at We are Makers. So without further delay, I give you Mark Gyspon.
What is the first thing you remember making/creating?
As a child, the first thing I made was probably a costume. I used a lot of cardboard and masking tape growing up. I used to make knights armor from cardboard. My Dad was a maker too, this is one my favorite memories. I kept asking my dad for a “cowboy gun” that i could spin on my finger, so he went straight to the basement and carved up a beautiful little six shooter out of a 2×4. It was painted, weathered and perfect. I try to do the same for my boys – anything they want to make, we try it and I try to involve them in the process as much as possible.
What influenced you to start working with leather?
My first leather project was a leather watchband. I cut up an old belt I had for the leather and I used the hardware from a nylon band. When I started I knew nothing about leather – I like to dive in to a project and try to figure it out myself before I look up how to do it. Somethings you get right and some you don’t, I just love the challenge. But really, it’s that nagging thought that I think all makers have – “I could make that”
What are you plans for the future of Gypsonite?
I started putting my work out there for people to see just a few years ago. The response has been really positive and motivating and my plan has always been let things grow organically. My next step in to make small run of items to put up for sale.
What are the key tools you use to do what you do?
My favorite go to tool is an X-acto Knife. I’ve been using those knives all my life and I’m very comfortable with then. I also don’t think I could live without my drill press, I use it for everything.
What would we be most likely to hear playing in your workshop?
Recently I’ve been listening to Har Mar Superstar, Dale Earnhart Jr Jr, Father John Misty, and Blood Brange, but my go to band is definitely Fleet Foxes.
Tell us something about being a Dad?
Being a parent is the most challenging thing you can do in your life, but having children is also the BEST thing you can do in your life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, they’re hilarious.
If you could acquire any material item at no cost right now, what would it be?
If I could wrap up a whole bunch of things into one thing it would be a stand alone workshop.
What would be your advice to any startup Makers?
Be honest with yourself, and get real feedback. Focus on making small gains toward your goal and reinvest everything back into it. That’s my plan anyway.
If you know of or are a great Maker who would like to participate – in any capacity – with this blog, just flick me an email! Otherwise, stay tuned for our upcoming Makers. The next few months, we will be dabbling in fashion, design, app creation and coffee! So many great things ahead, I’m EXCITED.