FARMINGTON – The laser rapidly cuts the outline of a watchband into the leather, quickly followed by a series of circles. In the video, the machine makes quick work out of a series of bands, like a well-coordinated dance.
For Charles Lynch, owner of Bilasáana, it’s a time-saver. Bilasáana, located in downtown Farmington, specializes in handcrafted Native American Apple accessories, such as watchbands crafted from silver and leather. While Lynch contracts the silverwork to local Diné artists, he cuts the leather himself by hand, a process that can take up to an hour for one band. But now, using the laser cutter at San Juan College’s Big Idea Makerspace, he is able to do a whole leather sheet of bands in under an hour.