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Alejandro Ortega's Profile

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Born and raised in the Bronx, NY, my introduction to leather began my junior year of college, while taking a theater class. I stumbled upon a Punchinello mask, which comes from an Italian art form called Commedia d’el Arte. The original Commedia d’el Arte masks were made from leather and in studying Commedia, I learned a lot about the use of leather as a medium in art. In 2007, I traveled to Italy to take a Commedia Mask Making Course at Centro Maschere e Strutture Gestuali with Maestro Donato Sartori. It was there I learned the difference between techniques taught in books and techniques actually used. I returned with a bigger desire than ever to pursue my desire of working with leather.

Making a mask is a long, involved process. I needed smaller projects that allowed me to practice skills used in mask making, yet didn’t take so long. As a contractor, I enjoyed making things. I started creating…

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  • Male
  • Joined November 15, 2010

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Leather

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About

Born and raised in the Bronx, NY, my introduction to leather began my junior year of college, while taking a theater class. I stumbled upon a Punchinello mask, which comes from an Italian art form called Commedia d’el Arte. The original Commedia d’el Arte masks were made from leather and in studying Commedia, I learned a lot about the use of leather as a medium in art. In 2007, I traveled to Italy to take a Commedia Mask Making Course at Centro Maschere e Strutture Gestuali with Maestro Donato Sartori. It was there I learned the difference between techniques taught in books and techniques actually used. I returned with a bigger desire than ever to pursue my desire of working with leather.

Making a mask is a long, involved process. I needed smaller projects that allowed me to practice skills used in mask making, yet didn’t take so long. As a contractor, I enjoyed making things. I started creating things that helped me in my line of work and also developed my leather working skills; such as a Magnetic Cuff for holding screws, a Magnetic Tape Holder, and a Utility Bag.

In 2010, after seeing Dreamworks' movie 'How to Train Your Dragon', I was inspired to create something for my children. With some leather I had on hand, I decided to design and make my children their own swords, shields, and sword belts, so that they could be real heroes like the kids in the movie. After some of my children's friends saw the toys I made, their parents began placing orders, as well as telling others about my creations.

My clientele now ranges from children (beginning around age 2) to adults (even Santa Claus). Other than here, you can find my toys sold at Heartfelt, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Unearthed Arts, madebyalejandro.com, and at various art fairs. If you would like to meet me, play with the toys, or talk about leather, check my Facebook page for future events. For now, one can probably find me happily working in my studio making swords, shields, belts and new creations, using a material I love that’s been around since the caveman: leather.

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