Smoke-tanning, also known as brain-tanning, is the most ancient method of not only hide tanning but of textile creation worldwide. This live video narrative + download is a story of the deep time roots of tanning’s ancient origins and contemporary resurgence. It weaves a narrative of co-evolution by people, plant, and animal through the ages and into current cultural and colonial contexts.
We focus on smoke-tanning, the mixture of fat and smoke that transforms animal skin into textile, with examples of hand-tanned products for all. We will cover both hair-on and hair-off (buckskin) styles of smoke-tanning. Techniques for softening, handy tools, and at-home infrastructure setups are explored to help support localized, at-home tanning projects. The live video is 90 minutes of narratives and 30 minutes of Q&A. It is available for download after, so no need to attend in-person if you can’t make the date.
This offering is a perfect primer for those starting their own hide tanning journey and hide tanning novices wishing to deepen their connection to the craft and a community of tanners.
Guide to the sliding scale:
$40-60: If you are able to pay for “wants” and spend little time worried about securing necessities in your life, or if this offering strikes you as a moment to make an extra donation to support the sliding scale, then this price is for you. Your contribution co-creates our community financial reciprocity.
$20-40: If you have access to steady income and are not spending most of your time thinking about meeting basic needs, then you belong here.
$10-20: If you struggle to maintain access to needs (such as health care, housing, food, and child care) and are living paycheque to paycheque or are in significant debt, you belong here.
$0: Indigenous people are welcome to choose $0 as part of our efforts at community-based reparations and mutual aid.
Words borrowed from and expanded upon by Alexis J Cunningfolk in The Sliding Scale: A Tool of Economic Justice.