Love Letters on Leather

Bernard Maisner puts his elegant stamp on leather goods.
Photo courtesy of Bernard Maisner

By Donna Bulseco

Calligraphy is an ancient visual art that elicits an “ahhhh” response with its hand-done lettering and graceful fonts. That emotional connection, says New York-based calligrapher and fine stationer Bernard Maisner, can be traced in part to the “beauty and balance” one feels looking at any art. “Beautiful artwork is a spiritual experience, one that’s meditative and healing,” he says. “The word ‘calligraphy’ itself means ‘beautiful writing.’” Acknowledged as a master (people line up at Bergdorf Goodman during the holidays for his on-the-spot ‘performance art’ cards to give as gifts), Maisner’s elegant craft has found a new imprint: luxe leather accessories done in partnership with OM Designs, a line co-founded by Olympia Kyriakides and Michael Thomson.

Embossed on fine Italian leather, a butterfly takes flight and a sinewy snake curves its sleek shape on structured bags. Wallets are also adorned—there’s one with an ornate spider based on a photo Maisner took of one on the Jersey Shore. The effect? “Beautiful and edgy, at the same time,” says Maisner. Precious, too, yet satisfyingly practical: carrying one brings the power of his pen into one’s daily routine.;