The Amazing Art of Leather-working

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July 27, 2020

One of my favorite things to do is watch videos of people making things in mediums that I’ve never worked myself. It’s amazing to see how the art of making things changes so much from medium to medium while at its core remains the same.

My new favorite medium to watch people build with is leather.

There is something so charming and old world about hand-made leather goods that while classic never seems to go out of style.

This video shows the process of making an iPad cover. The end product is beautiful but the process is the more compelling part for me.

While I rarely care about the ascetics of projects leather working is something different to me. It is usually all about the ascetics. The surface can get marred and ruined so easily that a very deliberate hand is needed at each step. There is no sanding or top coat you can give it to fix the surface like you can with wood. You can’t fill it in by welding and paint it like you can with metal working. Every cut and every choice you make is seen in the final product. There is no “hiding your mistakes” in leather working.

However, that doesn’t mean that it’s hard to get into as shown in the following videos by Evan and Katelyn and Alec Steel.

Evan and Katelyn worked with Alec Steel to make a very custom 3d printed knife hilt and then forged a damascus blade. Such a custom knife deserves a very custom sheath.

To learn how to make things with leather Alec Steel started by making a wallet.

Wallets are great to make because they are highly functional and don’t have to have a perfect appearance. They aren’t regularly on display and over time it’s expected that they will develop some character from being thrown around.

If these have taught me anything it’s that I want to get into leather working in the future.

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