Born in Wales, Fine Artist Mark Evans used to carve images into trees and barks since early childhood. After dedicating his time to more conventional materials, such as charcoals, oils, and acrylics, it was rather by accident that he turned back to his childhood primal desire to play with knives. While trying to clean a blood stain off a new leather jacket he was just given at Christmas, he scratched through the blood into the surface of the jacket. “That tiny etched patch of contrast in the leather suddenly flipped on the creative light-bulb”, he explains. “It was my own Archimedes “Eureka” moment, as if an explosion went off in my mind. I saw a world of possibilities. I locked myself away for the next few years and just focused on developing this brand new technique. I was living as part artist & part mad-scientist trying to perfect the process that I’d accidentally discovered”, he explains. Read further for the full article and visit his website www.markevansart.com.
Having explored his own particular technique through a number of experiments, Evans is currently the only person in the world working with leather in this particular way. Sourcing the leather from all over the globe, he reveals that the cleanest hides come from Scandinavia where the cattle have lush pasture and no barbed wire fences to cut or snag their skin. However, for darker and more violent pieces he chooses a hide from South America, as cows can be attacked by predators and get cut on razor wire. These wounds all make for great scars in the piece. “My hides all get shipped and tanned in Italy. The Italians are the best at this. I usually use Aniline or Semi Aniline, Full Grain leathers, but not all leather can be etched”, he says.
The time spent to complete a piece can vary from weeks to month, depending on the size and amount of details involved. Exhibiting and selling his works in London, New York and Dubai, the selling price ranges from around ten thousand pounds for small pieces up to quarter of a million pounds for larger ones.
All images © Mark Evans