I'm working on getting the leather and wood shop back up and running while working a part-time day job. The recovery from injury is slow and frustrating but I can start doing some things now. While doing some weekend reading, I came across this fine quote by Drucker. "There is surely nothing quite so useless … Continue reading I’m Back Baby! – Well, sort of…
In my internet sleuthing I have gathered literally thousands of images, plans, and patterns of things I would like to make or have for reference. Government documents, like the scans below, are invaluable resources for the maker when they are made public. Who would know how to better and more efficiently make a pair of … Continue reading U.S. Army Riding Gloves Pattern – free
Stitching Pony, Leather Worker's Clamp, or Saddler's Clam... Whatever you call it, it is a handy device to own if you sew any leather. These are simple devices that just about anyone can make with little time or money invested. Although there are many varieties and models, the one shown in this tutorial by Harry … Continue reading Making a Stitching Pony; Video Tutorial
When teaching a leather craft or making an item for someone, I am often asked about the machine used to sew such thick leather or through so many layers in tight areas. People are often astounded when I explain that this is all hand sewn, with an awl and two needles. I learned saddle stitching … Continue reading Saddle Stitching
I try to live by the creed of learning and making something good every day. As we have been pondering the holiday season it seemed a good time to get a jump on some leatherworking projects I've had in mind the past few months. This morning, before getting to work on other chores, I decided … Continue reading Making a Minimalist Wallet
Some things never really change... While looking through my image archive I came upon some leather working illustrations dated to the early 15th century. All but one of the images below is from the extremely informative Mendel manuscript dated 1425 created at Nuremberg, in what is now Germany. Creating leather from animal hides has been … Continue reading Leatherworking Images from the Middle Ages
I realize this isn't the most exiting project of the year but a necessary one nonetheless. My knife sheath for the "regular" camp knife was a sloppily done remake of the original. The knife maker did an excellent job on the knife itself but the sheath wasn't up to the standard of this fine tool. … Continue reading Knife Sheath
I have raved about the Huarache Blog before. Here’s a re-run of the excellent post about how real leather is still made by hand in Mexico.
Unlike most mainstream footwear, Mexican Huarache footwear leather is still vegetable tanned using tree bark. Fewer tanneries in the world still offer vegetable tanned leathers because of the slower tanning process and higher costs of the natural raw materials used.
The natural benefits of vegetable tanned leather are:
1. The organic tanning process is non toxic and has a much lesser impact on the environment and the health of the tanners (chrome tannery workers have a 20%-50% higher chance of cancer risk).
2. The leather maintains some of its natural qualities to stretch and adapt to your foot shape.
A few months ago in a post titled “Taller De Curtiduria González – Vegetable Tanning the Best Huarache Leathers” I introduced Jesús and Antonio González the father and son tanners in Colima, Mexico who still practice this traditional and centuries old tanning method.
The González tannery offers a variety…
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Or what we might call a messenger bag. I finally finished the commissioned bag from last month based on the beautifully proportioned Roman design. As far as I know, this design dates back to at least the First Century C.E. and judging by it's logic, probably much further. I think the true loculus (satchel) utilized … Continue reading Roman Loculus
A small toiletries bag made from a wax-impregnated leather. The design is essentially that of a very small 18th century portmanteau. Included here are some of the basic tools-of-the-trade for scale and perspective. I think leather work is appealing to me, in part, due to the honest simplicity and lack of power tools. Most projects … Continue reading Leather Dopp Kit