There was nothing about the warm breeze this gentle July 2010 morning that spoke of the piece of history about to conclude inside the walls of Borge Tannery, beautifully situated in a still corner of majestic Osterfjord, Western Norway.
After tanning leathers in serene surroundings for 120 years, the world-renowned tannery had been forced out of business just a couple of weeks earlier, leaving 70 people unemployed. This morning marked the last day of production, with only a handful employees present, quietly doing what they had always done; carefully crafting the finest leathers available.
In midst of what for most people would have been one of the most distressful situations of their life, stood tanner Erling Teigland (60), only three years short of retirement.
Ever since he was a teenager, Erling had spent his days tanning leathers for the most selective customers in the world. Now, fourty years later, a lifelong effort in service of quality and craftmanship was about to come to a conclusion. Yet, Erling smiled – and rather than dwelling on what was no more, instead spoke vividly of his appreciation for what he had been given in life. To be at home in nature itself, to nurture a craft with your own two hands – and the precious gift of going to work every morning.