A few years ago I went through a period of time learning new skills and teaching myself new crafts. I put printmaking on the back burner and I invested my time and my money in new processes and supplies. It was a really, really great opportunity to explore and try new things without the pressure of knowing exactly where I was going to go with it…or what I might make to sell.
I tried hand sewing projects, low temp silver smithing and leather craft. Of all the things I tried and I’m sure there are things I’m not thinking of it was the leather craft that I felt really drawn into. Hand tooled leather goods to be specific. I really enjoyed drawing on the leather and creating patterns and designs on it. I like painting the leather and “tarnishing” it so that the designs show up and the piece looks a bit aged. Each piece is a bit different and each hide is a bit different, as leather ages and you wear it the color darkens and deepens and it responds to your personal wear patterns.
I’ve been making things here and there on a custom basis for the last few years, learning as I go and trying new projects. Belts, bags, keychains, wallets…all adding little bits of knowledge and more tools as I went. Let’s be honest, learning any new craft can be expensive. Leather seems to be one of those skills that is on the more pricey side. The leather that you create things from is expensive all on it’s own. A double shoulder or side of tooling leather can be anywhere from $100-$200 depending on the quality and where it was made. Each project can require different tools and an endless assortment of designs that you can buy or have made to impress into the leather. It’s all rather addictive!
I’m super excited to share a new mini collection of leather goods are now available for sale in my shop online and will be available at shows. I’ve been sharing some of it via my Instagram account the last week or so but here it is all together. All of the pieces are hand tooled with multiple impressions, hand painted in a variety of colors, sewn or finished with brass hardware. Thanks to all the friends and family that encouraged me and gave me reasons to make more projects to learn- one girl can only wear so many belts.