Custom hand tooled leather goods since 1963

About us

Durham Leather was founded by leather artisan Byron Ball over twenty-five years ago.  Byron first began experimenting with leatherwork in the 1960s as a teenager and his hobby became a business in 1982 when he launched the original Durham Leather Company.  Located in New York State, the business produced a wide variety of leather products, including wallets, purses, belts, key rings and cases, as well as select artwork on a limited scale.  The fledgling company experienced modest success and Byron's artwork garnered many awards and international recognition.

The demands of family life and other career interests, however, led to a hiatus from professional leatherworking.  In the following years, Byron helped raise his three children and also pursued a career in computer software development.  His interest in hand-tooled leather continued, however.  During this time, while his skilled results were reserved for family and friends, he honed and refined his abilities and experimented with new techniques and styles.  Particularly drawn to the results of detailed embossing and painting, his focus shifted toward leather pictures.

Intrigued by the possibilities of this unique medium and style, Byron began producing a wide variety of scenes and portraits.  The exciting depth and detail of these artistic renderings were the deciding factor in re-launching Durham Leather as "Durham Leather Studio", with a particular focus on providing framed leather artwork to discerning customers.  Each piece is signed either with the author's first name, or his initials, as in the overlapping BB pictured here.  Many works also indicate the year they were created.

In addition to framed prints, Durham Leather Studio also offers a variety of handcrafted leather items, such as decorative dog collars and leashes, game boards and game pieces, leather belts, wallets, key cases, and other household gifts.  Customization is one of the important aspects of the Durham Leather Studio.  If you have a photo of your favorite pet, you can order a custom-made leather portrait for your home.  Names, initials, or favorite designs can be incorporated as part of a customized wallet, belt, etc