Christiane Murner is celebrating her 30th anniversary this year as a “maroquinière”, or creator of fine leather goods. She told me that she still loves her chosen craft as much now, as she did when she started out back in 1983. Just glance around her boutique, “L’Antre-Peaux”, and her passion for her craft will immediately become evident.
The shop is an astonishing explosion of colours and textures, and a rich, fertile imagination is evident in each of the luxurious leather bags, wallets and belts displayed. It is more like a gallery than a shop; in fact, as with works of art, Mme Murner explained to me that each object in the shop is the only one of its kind. Different types of leather are used in each individual design. The styles, colours and textures displayed undergo regular metamorphosis.
At the back of the shop is the workshop where each piece in the shop is created and assembled. Mme Murner is the last “maroquinière” in Geneva; she is eager for her craft to survive. Since 1996 she has been qualified to train students, and she regularly takes on apprentices to learn the metier. Indeed, it would be a great pity if her knowledge and craftsmanship were not transmitted and perpetuated, although her creative touch is surely unique.
If you indulge in one of these bags, beware – it’s very likely that you will never want to buy another bag again – except perhaps another of Mme Murner’s creations…