Obsidian Monarch is owned & operated by Oakland, CA. artist Billy Sprague. In August of 2014 Sprague received his grandfather's leather tools as an heirloom. Being around alot of leather work and crafts as a child and wanting to embrace his Mexican heritage and family traditions, Sprague began exploring leather working. Being an artist himself and using inherited tools as inspiration, he began months of dedication learning the skills of leather tooling, pattern & mold making and saddle making. Being a daily cyclist, Sprague looked for new innovative ways to personalize his bicycle and other daily used items. Some of these items included; Guitar Straps, Belts, Axe Sheaths, Messenger Bags and Tarot Card Cases for his family and friends.
The bicycle saddle making process... The leather is hand chosen from a wide selection of premium leather. The leather is cut to shape (with the grain). The shape is then hand tooled to whatever artistic design is desired, this can take hours or days. It is then formed on a specially made seat mold and set to dry slowly over night. The dried and formed saddle is then edge sanded, stained or dyed, hand burnished and conditioned. The conditioner is a special formula of leather conditioner, oils, and locally harvested bee's wax from a Berkeley bee farmer (available in our shop). The leather saddle is then attached to the metal frame. In nearly every case a vintage refurbished Brooks saddle, that has had its original leather decomposed, ripped or torn due to lack of upkeep. The metal frame is polished and tested for structual integrity. The leather is attached with either a stainless hex bolt or hand hammered copper rivets. Our saddles are comfy from the get-go and get even more so as time goes on. We believe our construction, design, tooling and craftsmanship to be as good or superior to any hand crafted professionally built leather saddle on the market today. We are also one of the only places in the USA that refurbish and hang new leather on Brooks saddle frames, have a dammaged ripped or torn Brooks saddle? We can help!
Each product is handmade and one of a kind)))
Obsidian Monarch takes pride in producing an artistic American made product with eco-friendly operating practices. We donate all our leather scraps to the arts department of Urban Ore in Berkeley, Ca.
Follow Us on Instagram for the most up to date progress on new leather projects!
**Videography by Curtis Tamm.