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I am originally from Russia, Siberia. I have a lot of names: Alexander, Aleksandr, Oleksandr, Sasha, Alex, etc. English is not my native language. Some of the sentences will be awkwardly structured, so be it. I intentionally did not hire a professional writer, so that you could get a true feeling of who I am. I was born in officially the coldest place in the world – Siberia. An average temperature is −5 °C (23 °F) with a lowest record temperature of −71.2 °C (−96.2 °F).

Sometimes I am wondering what inspires me when working with leather. Most likely my childhood memories of Siberian nature. I was absolutely fascinated by it. In general the nature seems a bit color scarce. Once long, long winter fades away, the nature turns into a kaleidoscope that never repeats its combinations. Have you ever seen first March galanthus (commonly known as “ snowdrops”) flowers coming out of snow? There is something very moving and genuine about it. It is an incredible sight. I would give a lot just to recreate this experience.

Snow had at least seven different shades of white. Sound of crispy snow under my feet is another childhood reminiscence that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Snow, snow, snow. It is everywhere. You fall asleep with a few inches of snow outside and wake up next morning with snow piles reaching the 3rd floor. We were digging tunnels in snow, building fortresses and anything else that our imagination would allow us. I remember catching snowflakes of all kinds and shapes. Only Mother Nature is able to create such bizarre combinations. The most sophisticated technology could not be able to reproduce it. 

Down in the wooded area there was a small pond. It stayed dark most of the time as giant trees were blocking occasional sunlight. But there were days when strong sun rays got through the trees into the water. Then I could see tiny fish swimming back and forth. Their scales were so bright and shining. I could spend hours simply mesmerized by this view.

Green is the color that you probably see the most as tundra and taiga are covered with forests. All kinds of pine trees are standing like giants protecting the land from civilization. Siberian people like pine trees for its beauty, unusual aroma and sturdy building qualities. When you walk into a pine wood, it feels like you are a part of a Russian fairy tale. It is always dark there. Sun rays can hardly go through thick tree branches. Branches look like giant furry paws that are all covered with needles and cones. As winter approaches cones turn brown and soon open up to release tons of seeds. They, in return, will continue the endless pine life cycle. Human life is nothing in comparison with these green powerful giants that live up to six hundred years. They look down at you trying to understand what this child is doing here, what he is looking for. God forbid you are lost there during winter season. You will freeze to death. Snow will swaddle you with its blanket that will seem comforting and warm at first, but deadly on a long run.
June 05, 2012 by Alex Yefremov

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