SPOTLIGHT : Made Solid
Words and photos by Mark Smith Clarke
Made Solid is a leather design-based project started by husband and wife Peter Maxwell (Max) and Mia. We stopped by to see Max at their flagship shop in the Little Armenia neighborhood during a recent visit to Los Angeles.
Max was born and raised on the West Coast; which is clearly visible through his work with Made Solid, using traditional western saddle making techniques, such as saddle stitching and wet molding applied to Hermann Oak Vegetable Tanned Leather as well as in the indigo tie-dye and Pollockesque paint splatter that evoke reflections of West Coast light and sea.
Alternately, Mia brings experience from the vintage industry in Kumamoto, Japan, pulling inspiration in process and form from Southern Japanese ceramic kilns and Hosokowa-shi paper making, everything feels crafted with a sense of timelessness and purpose.
Where Made Solid really begin to rise above contemporaries, and make them a shop favorite here in Denver, is in their ability to re-contextualize traditional methods in a way that feels candidly original. Their products embody what is exciting about utilizing time-honored techniques within the context of the couple’s own personal experiences. This is no more apparent than with their use of a 1950’s scallop stamp, a traditional western saddle-makers tool Max inherited, that Mia hand stamps in repetitive patterns to produce a Japanese Koi motif.
Made Solid pieces are very personal objects built from a love of the storied methods they follow but with an aspiration to add to that lineage of influence.
Alongside his work with Made Solid, Max has been a longtime cratedigger and DJ. He has graciously created an original mix we will be playing at the shop this spring and can be heard in the Soundcloud player below.
Find Made Solid products here: https://armitageandmcmillan.com/collections/made-solid
Follow Made Solid here: https://www.instagram.com/madesolidinla/