My name is Paul Cunningham and my craft is leather sporting goods.
My designs appear nostalgic, but they are made from the finest leather, using modern construction techniques. I rely on an array of modern tools and techniques to improve efficiency, while staying true to classic designs.
My vision is to use the sculptural forms of modern sports balls to showcase beautiful leather and expert craftsmanship.
Creating beautiful products that resonate with a broad spectrum of society requires that I utilize the best, most modern tools available. At the heart of my shop are my cutting dies. These are like cookie cutters formed in the shape of the ball panels. The dies are created on a computer with exacting precision. It is these dies that allow me to cut leather quickly and consistently so that my products can be reproduced to the highest standards.
Presently, I make an array of sports balls, but as a craftsman, baseball gloves are my first love and my truest passion. I have broad experience with baseball, and I am a dedicated student of baseball glove design. However, limited time and resources has prevented me from pursuing my passion to create baseball gloves.
Winning a share of the Ketel One Legacy prize will enable me to return my focus to creating modern leather baseball gloves.
The modern baseball glove is a marvel of form and function. It is also one of the most difficult things for a leather craftsman to make. There are over 35 separate parts that must be cut, and sewn together perfectly. Making baseball gloves is very labor intensive, which is why 99% of all gloves sold in the U.S. are made overseas. It is my hope, that by winning a share of The Ketel One Legacy prize, I will be able to make baseball gloves in support of our national pastime.