Morro Bay Leather Shop Owner Does Demonstration

MORRO BAY You’ve probably passed it by a thousand times on Morro Bay Boulevard — the Leather Shop. I know I have for years. Finally, one day, I stopped in to see what it was all about and met owner Finn Hansen who was busy tooling away on a leather project.

Since that day, Hansen has spruced up the exterior of his shop and now has a welcoming door and window that should make you want to stop and go inside. If you do, you will discover a marvelous workshop and all kinds of leather goods from saddles to purses and wallets and so much more.

Leather tooling is an art and Hansen is going to show how to do it at a Morro Bay Art Association demonstration at the Art Center Morro Bay on Monday, Jan. 14, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Tooling leather is a process of cutting into the leather to create shapes and designs. It’s easier than you think, and results can be beautiful. Tooled leather items often include belts, purses, wallets, saddles or just about anything leather.

Hansen will demonstrate how to use the variety of tools that are molded in shapes that cut into the leather to make the designs. Some designs are part of an artistic tradition in many nations and can include elaborate stars, flowers, curves, wildlife images, and initials.

Hansen became interested in leather tooling while attending junior high school. Later while attending Cal Poly University he began to work in the leather store in Morro Bay. Five years later he bought the place and has provided custom tooling and restorative work ever since.

Tooling leather is a great craft. Whether you want to make a beautiful horse saddle or a custom belt you will see how intricate designs carved into leather enhance the item.

Art Center Morro Bay is located at 835 Main St., Morro Bay. This event is free and open to the public. Call 805-772-2504, for more information, or see

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