has a deep history in craftsmanship that dates back to the days of his great grandfather
Max Kohler. A world famous glass eye maker in Louscha Germany. Moving to New York city, he setup shop on
14th street in Manhattan where his last known place of business was. Max formed his own glass, and hand
painted each eye from the inside to match his clients natural color. There are only 2 remaining eyes known
to be in existence to this day. They were passed down to Christian of Xian Leather last year.
Max's son, Erwin Kohler was an accomplished artist as well as a builder. Erwin constructed a house in
Blairstown New Jersey with run of the mill tools, planes, and a glass of water as a level. He laid herring
bone floor plank, built a spiral staircase, curved bookcases with Chinese marble inserts, and of course a
fireplace. All of this was done with no training, just a handful of books and a lot of sweat. He worked
mostly in oils with his artwork. The picture to the right was painted on an old piece of pine and framed
by him as well. There is no date on it so its impossible to know exactly how old it is. He was also
astoundingly good at self portrait painting.
Erwin's daughter Jacqueline, Christian's Mother, was an accomplished classical pianist as well as an
accomplished artist. She worked mostly in oils as her father Erwin did. Her oil work was created with
such great detail it was impossible to point out any brush stroke. They were so well placed and perfectly
blended they would vanish and look like shading instead of strokes. Sometimes using charcoal, she created
a few pieces with such great feel and mood they're almost difficult to look at. Putting that kind of soul
into her work was the same manner she approached her playing. Piano to her, was another way to create,
not just playing, but creating a storm of sorts. Although classical Piano might be looked at as not so
rock and roll, she could bring the house down with it, and at times the neighborhood it seemed.
Robert Marsh, Christian's Father, has the work ethic of an Egyptian building a pyramid. He has never
slowed down till this day. Spending his employment years as an Air traffic controller for 30 years,
mostly in the Newark Sector, and the majority of them as a supervisor. He showed Christian what it
takes to become great at what you do. Do it with passion, integrity, honor, and of course humor.
Getting tagged the "wheel" as a nickname by his coworkers for the reason he never stopped or slowed
down. It shows everyone noticed he was moving at 100mph except him. If you asked him what the rush was,
he'd say, "hey, its just what I do." He is a perfect example of how to do it, and get it done.....
Considering I have no formal training in leather work, I figured I would tell you where my talent
and drive come from. From years and years of talent and drive, as well as passion passed down to me from
my family members, some passed and some living. I am 100% self taught, and continue to learn everytime I
pick up a tool and a piece of leather. I look forward to building leather pieces for many years to come
and bring to you some of the finest leather you'll find anywhere. There are so many leathersmiths in the
world today, many I look up to, some I consider masters of the craft. I am just one of them, I don't in
anyway consider myself a master leather worker, but stay tuned, it may just happen............
Thank you for taking the time to read this page of history....
AKA, Xian Leather