Willa Murray Design is committed to making quality handmade shoes and leather goods.
Photo by Viara Mileva Photography.
Willa Murray has over eight years of experience managing, designing, and making handmade leather products, and is now delving into shoe making, custom work, and teaching classes.
Artist Statement and Biography
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been sewing or making something out of wood. Discovering industrial walking foot sewing machines after I graduated from Algonquin College (Heritage Carpentry) in 2008, struck the perfect balance between woodworking and domestic sewing.
What began as a one- year experiment in a small business making bags of recycled materials in Toronto as an owner and maker at Mariclaro quickly turned into an 8-year journey and life passion. Even after working with leather all these years, the beautiful material continues to inspire me. The leather I am particularly proud to offer are hides of moose and deer hunted in Ontario by subsistence hunters.
In 2014, I started to learn the art of shoe making, an art that offers limitless opportunities for growth. Recently, I have gone back to my carpentry roots to make tool rolls for carpenters and masons while rebuilding my timber frame home in Maberly, Ontario. Since then I have relocated to North of Westport and have a studio where you can take classes.
Sharing the passion I have for leatherwork through teaching classes and workshops has brought me great pleasure in recent years.
My work reflects my desire for high quality, beautiful and functional pieces that can be used every day and that speak to ecological and social sustainability. Whether these items are chisel rolls, aprons, belts, shoes, or housewares, they offer an alternative to a disposable culture.