This week I got a visit at my workshop from the Photographer Mia Feline – Goldenfox. She spent a day with me and Tillmann to capture me working (an Tillmann waiting to finally going to play Frisbee) on various products eg. a Clutch Bag, a Tote Bag, a Belt and a leather covered Flask. Im very happy with the results and for sure this will not be the last time we work with Mia and Goldenfox.
After some decades this Yugoslavian military leather belt needed some care
Recently a friend of mine sent me this beauty. For me this Yugoslavian Army leather belts are monuments. The leather they used and the way they saddle stitched and how, is a lecture. Its a mass produced piece a leather craftsman or a collector should take time to examine and try to understand why they did it that way. After some decades of use and storage the linen thread just broke. So I dissembled the belt to its parts, treated the leather with neat food oil to condition it, and saddle stitched it. To give the 18/5 Barbour linen thread an more vintage look fitting the belt, I soaked it in blacktea before I put the beeswax on it.
A fine example how classic and durable design, crafted the right way and using the right materials can last decades. Such a piece is definitely worth the effort to expand its lifetime.
It all started by borrowing my flask to friends who went on a hiking trip without a good spirit – I could not join them this time, but gave them my well filled flask. (Which I still haven´t got back!)
In the need to get a replacement quick, I did some research, but could not find anything really appealing to me. So I had the Idea to cover a standard stainless steel flask with some of my veg. tanned leather. I customize them with the initials and sew them by hand, orders can be placed, but I got already a lot to craft before christmas.
I´m probably one of the first who hand sew a iPhone 6 coverout of leather. I went yesterday with the specs of the new models by Apple to the carpenter next door to get models out of wood. There have to be some little adjustments to be made, but basically the size what I have taken for the leather were ok. The leather is still a bit wet from the shaping over the form but in about an hour or two the leather will be a nice chestnut.
It was in my mind for a long time to finally hand sew my firsthandbag. The ingredients were simple. First of all the best vegetable tanned leather I could get my hands on, simple design, hand stitched with saddle stitch, best thread, no zippers (they will break at first), and some well thought of practical details. Overall it took me about 10 hours to cut and sew this bag.
A while ago I took test cast of the Indian Head from Feinschmuckout of solid copper and turned it into a button. It now serves the locking for the bag. Interchangable with other buttons and the leather straps can be easily changed as well over the years. This is just a start, I will produce more leather tote bags soon – waiting for more leather hides.
Last friday I had an appointment with Mr. Breuninger the owner of the Breuninger Tannery in Schorndorf Germany. The Breuningers tann since 1552 and since 12 generations as red tanner (vegetable tanner), so from the specs they know their business. Already have received a couple of leather samples I really wan´t to see the factory and to have a closer look at the hides. They do only vegetable tann from german cattle and emphasize on the natural look of the hides.
I was really impressed from what I saw. The aniline tanning results in really characteristic hides by preserving the natural structure of the leather. Mr. Beuninger was really informative and helpful in explaining various aspects of his profession. Finally I bought some hides and reserved one. I guess we found another, or the supplier for future Feinschmuck products.
First of all thanks to Uwe T. to arrange this great workshop. One of the top leather crafters of the world Armin Dobstetter – Custom Leather from Ellwangen hosted a two days workshop where we did a wooden surface belt. Armin started to work with leather when he was 14 years old. I assume that was more than 30 years ago. Within this time he won many leather craft competitions in the States. He is mostly known within the biker scene by his custom leather seats.
Within his shop you only can try to imagine what knowledge and experience he gained within some decades. Armin never got tired during the workshop to answer the questions by us in the most detailed way. He is not afraid to share his knowledge. His argument is that it took him about 30 years to gain it and if he shares it to someone he is already further until he might reach his skills. This made his workshop really special and is the way it should be done. It even went so far that on the last day we really had to hurry to finish our belts.
If you really look for something special made out of leather and want to make your motorbike stand out of the crowd Armin is the guy to talk to. Thanks a lot for your time and inputs you gave us last week – hope to see you soon again.