What a lucky find! Thanks Philip Fust – Das Emporium for supplying me with another rare masterpiece by the Swiss Army Saddlers. This piece was probably never in real use and since I have not seen any similar before it might be “just” a prototype. It is made out of solid 3 mm swiss bridle leather and stitched by hand. Notice the hidden seams to avoid friction on a thread on one side. The handles suggest that it was not made for heavy duty use like ammunition or mortarshells. My guess it was made for maps, however the aluminium reenforced bottom suggest the items carried inside had some weight. Interesting is also the attachment loop with a buckle. Probably it is there to attach the container to a pole (of a Jeep). It will serve me as an inspiration for future leatherworks im designing or even being used to store cut leatherpieces rolled in it and work mobile on my Riese & Müller cargo bike somewhere in summer in the courtryside. The size of the bag is 50 x 32 x 14,5 cm.
Vintage Swiss Army Duffle Bag from 1974
For my leatherworks some of the biggest inspirations are vintage items which passed the years of use with ease. By studying the wear you can get precious lessons on how to design items with the same goal to craft a lifetimepiece. This vintage swiss army duffle bag have not seem to get any use at all but it is still a masterpiece of a simple, timeless and well crafted bag. Well placed reinforcements, solid rivets and great materials. You see on the type of canvas (no salt and pepper) that it´s of newer origin, I got a toolroll of the same material. Remember to really give those items a good treatment of leatheroil to ensure the dried out leather wont break. Once its broken the damage is done. That what I did immediately. Thanks a lot to Stefan Feichtinger who gave this bag to me at the Boot Root Odershow in Zürich as a present by knowing the bag will be well cared and understood.
Quite for some month I´ve been designing and redesigning this bucket bag in my head. Last week I finally hand sew the “Gloria” for my sister Gloria after we discussed her requirements. A magazine (about DIN A4) should definitely fit in and I extended the size even a bit to store a 13 inch Macbook inside. A bespoke leatherpatch with one of her favorite slogans “no guts no glory” makes the bag even more unique. The bag is still at my leather workshop but it will get handed over to her tomorrow. The bag was completely sewn by hand and saddle stitched with two needles so it´s really handmade (not “handmade” by operating a sewing machine with the hands). The Leather is probably the most eco friendly certified leather you can buy in Germany/Europe. The tannery is located in the south of Germany and the hides are from cows from the alpine region close by as well. For me it´s an important thing to support the local tanneries and craftsmen as i hope my clients do as well. The size of the bag is approx. 35 x 25 x 15 cm. Inquiries about the bucket bag via my website.
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.
Leather covered customized Flask
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.
iPhone 6 hand sewn leather cover
I´m probably one of the first who hand sew a iPhone 6 cover out 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 first handbag. 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 Feinschmuck out 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.
For a long time I´ve been watching this vintage Ulmia Ott workbench in Manfreds Garage. When I saw the restoration project of a similar Ulmia workbench @ TopHatter I finally asked him how he liked the idea of “getting rid” of this workbench. Actually he needed more space be-cause of the just bought Feinschmuck Fiat 238. So we roughly cleaned the bench, let it dry for a day and moved it into my home yesterday. This is the workspace where Feinschmucks buckles are hand sewn and turn into a belt from now on.
Rider Belts – Reiter Gürtel
It was just a matter of time with so many riding family members and that I had to do a Riders Belt – Reiter Gürtel. So that is what i came up with. A mouthpiece / snaffle bit belt best for slim belts of 25mm and a horseshoe belt with 38mm. Both buckles are UK made and massive brass casted. Hand sewn in saddle stitch on veg. tanned leather from a german tannery.
Fixed Kitchen Knife – Leather Knife Handle
Actually my mother gave me the task to finally field test if a dishwasher damages the sharpness of a blade by giving me a kitchen knife with a broken plastic handle. But instead I took the hammer and got rid of the plastic crap and see if I could attach a new handle.
A while ago at my Schachenmayr Tannery visit I got a piece of Cowbell leather, extremely thick and real hard and durable. I cut out the rough shape for the handles out of this leather and riveted them on the handle with some solid copper rivets. Then I started to fine shape the leather by cutting more and more off. Not a stunning beauty but this knife was saved from the trash bin and probably (due to the leather handle) will no longer be but into the dishwasher.