Trained by his father in this Parisian workshop, David Rosenblum is taking the profession of Sheather-Guilder to new heights.
Aged 37, David Rosenblum is bringing together his two passions: leather embellishment and design.
“My father, one of the last people to teach gilding and sheathing, taught me everything,” he confides, sitting in the family workshop, a stone’s throw from Bastille.
Dating back to 1895, the workshop was opened by Jean Bettenfeld, renowned leather sheather and associate of the Nancy School. The atelier has also collated an exceptional historical collection of 7500 pieces, including the brass dies that once belonged to the artist Marjorelle. The bronze coats of arms of the Vatican and Catherine de Medicis are proudly displayed on the walls...
David’s father, who had reopened his friend Jean’s workshop, stopped working there at the end of the 1990s. “He had quickly decided to focus on fashion,” David explains, “The cut in government funding for restoration was a fatal blow for many artisans”. Today, David does everything himself, from start to finish, and is developing his own unique style.
Two procedures are exclusive to this workshop: screen printing and laser cutting. “Laser is less well known in engraving than in lacemaking”, says David, “The leather remains soft to the touch, without any burning.” Luxury brands and designers (Fred Marzo, Isaac Reina, Julien Fournie to name but a few) are all fans of his unique expertise. For Lisa Vanbach’s cuffs in vegetable-tanned leather, the workshop creates dyes, patinas and designs.
For David, “An artisan should be the voice of their time - using restoration to keep tradition alive, but also encouraging creativity.” His high-end goods have opened new doors for him. The Aëdle headphones are on sale at Harrods, Rick Owens’ and in Japan. He is also interested in interior decoration – with the cabinetmaker Dufay, he covered a cigar humidor with python skin, and glued every scale on by hand!
90% of the Parisian workshop’s business is export. “It’s a promising market”, points out the artisan, who works with all leathers, priority being given to French tanneries, “This trade, one of the oldest in the leather industry, had long been male-dominated. Now, we are seeing more and more women wanting to learn sheathing.” smiles David.