Happy New Year Sale!

15% off my Leather Items in my Etsy Shop

I’m running a sale for the rest of January on all the items I have in stock in my Etsy shop! These are the READY TO POST items. Here’s a few examples:

Italian Leather Tote Bags: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/718736760/
Pocket knives and pouches

Joseph Rodgers Pocket Knife: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1107376816
Whitby Pocket Knife: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1105712205
George Wostenholm Pruning Knife: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1105650393
Whitby Large Pocket Knife: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/845772759

Pocket notebook and phone case: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1051560965
Necklace knife: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/824743138
Rite in the Rain Notepad: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1037581822
Green A5 Luxury British Oak Bark Tanned Leather Notebook Cover: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1103338912
Mora carving knives: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1107358784
Brown A4 Luxury British and Italian Leather Notebook Cover: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1103342498
Coin or Guitar Pick Pouch Leather Keyring: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/722084615
Leather Moleskine or Leuchtturm Cover Pocket Size Notebook: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1108353289
Rectangular Coin Purse: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/601779840
Leather Cover for a Pocket Size A6 Journal Notebook: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/959231521
Leather Jotter Pad for A6 card and paper: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1001098718

…plus lots more!…

Head over to my shop here and look for the items that say “15% off”!

Here’s to a Happy 2022. I reckon it could actually be a good one!

Pocket Knives and Pouches

I’ve had a variety of pocket knives for over a year now. I was meaning to sell them sooner but didn’t get time to make pouches for them until recently. So here they are, ready to buy from my Etsy shop!

These are all EDC (Every Day Carry) knives, meaning that they are fine to carry with you in public as the blades are less than 3 inches long and non-locking.

George Wostenholm knife, made in Sheffield

This knife is the most expensive knife, seeing as it’s actually made in the UK! Non-locking blade less than 3 inches, so safe to carry in the pouch. The pouch either fits in your pocket or attaches to your belt. Available to buy from my Etsy store.

American Buck Ridgeway knife

Another EDC knife. Very stylish with a beautiful wooden handle. Available to buy from my Etsy store.

Whitby olive wood penknife

A very simple and sleek design with smooth wooden handle and non-locking EDC blade. Available to buy from my Etsy store.

Whitby lambs foot shape carbon steel blade

Another EDC blade. Beautiful feel and a blade that can easily be kept sharp. Available to buy from my Etsy store.

Whitby slip joint knife with drop point blade

This knife has a nice chunky and contoured handle. Very useful for a good grip when out in the wet weather. EDC blade, so good to carry with you at all times. Available to buy from my Etsy store.

Italian leather

I decided to make all of these pouches from two different coloured Italian veg-tanned leathers – Amber and Cognac. The Cognac has a lovely antiqued look about it. The amber will develop a darker patina over time. The leather is 2 to 3 mm thick and very durable, but with a subtle non-stiff feel, making it easy to insert and remove your knife without it being overly tight.

I’d be happy to make a bespoke pouch to fit your knife too, either from similar Italian leather or from a firmer British leather. Drop me an email ([email protected]) and we can discuss your requirements.

Please note: I can’t sell knives to people under 18 years old as this is illegal in the UK.

Letter Stamp Set

Earlier this year I treated myself to a new letter stamp set!

I’ve been wanting one of these sets for a while now and finally decided to go for it. The letters are 7mm high and very clear. Cut from solid brass and amazing quality. Here’s a few examples:

So, if you’re looking to personalise a leather item with your name, initials or a quote, then I now have the means to do this neatly! Drop me a line if you’re interested.

A Busy Year and a Holiday

It’s been a while since I last updated you. In fact I think it was January! The year continued to be really busy, helped by people locked-down and enjoying some online retail therapy! Orders finally quietened down around July, when shops began to open and people became more adventurous, leaving their houses to go on holiday. So Kath and I took the opportunity to switch my Etsy shop off, switch on the out-of-office auto-reply emails, pack up the van and head to the Scottish hills and lochs!

We found an amazing beach on the north coast of Scotland with hardly anyone about. Beautiful weather and blue seas. Absolute paradise and a well earned rest for both of us.

Enjoying views across to Skye and the Outer Hebrides in my newly refurbished deck chair, covered in leather, of course!

It didn’t take me long before I had to get some leather out though! Here I am stitching a patchwork notebook.

I finished making this patchwork notebook by a river in the Cairngorms. Such a beautiful and inspiring location!
An amazing array of pebbles on a beach on the East coast.

Can’t wait for our next trip…! I hope you all managed to get away somewhere nice this year.

And I’ll try my best to keep you more up-to-date with leather work, up-coming exhibitions, etc. Feel free to give me a kick if you’ve not heard anything from me in a while!

Leather Quiver

I was delighted to be asked to make a bespoke quiver as a Christmas present for my customer’s son, who’s an archery fanatic.

They wanted it to be wearable from the belt and to hold a load of arrows!

There’s a pouch on the outside to hold the stringer, tabs and other accessories.

The main section for the arrows is lined with black felts.

Hand-stitched British and Italian leather.

It should last him many archery seasons and hopefully one day it will appear on in tournaments!

Chef’s Canvas Knife Roll Lovingly Hand-Made by Dad!

This chef is someone very dear to me – he’s my son!

He’s currently training in college to be a chef and when he asked me if I could make him a knife roll I jumped at the challenge!

I thought I’d try working with canvas for this project. The edges have been bound with red leather. The main section holding the knives is made with leather. It rolls up and is held closed with two straps, and can be carried with a sturdy handle and shoulder strap.

To be honest this is likely to be the only knife roll I make from canvas. The main reason is that because I do all the stitching by hand it took far longer than if it were just leather. It took me about a week to make so any future ones would be pretty pricey!

A Case for the Scottish Spyglass

Whilst up in the Highlands of Scotland, north of Inverness, I met a man who manages 100 square kilometers of rugged mountains, forests, rivers and lochs. His name is Innes Macneill. A very knowledgeable and proud man of nature.

He saw my leather work and so sent his assistant to fetch his Spyglass. The challenge he had for me was to make a new case for it.

Both telescope and original case had lasted him 20 years but the case was starting to fall apart.

I love bespoke work so I was completely on board, even though there were a few unknowns I had yet to work out. The first challenge was working out how to mould the end pieces of leather to fit inside the tube.

Luckily he allowed me to take the old case and his spyglass away so I could make a new one to fit perfectly. This was a great honour, especially as he trusted me to take care of his precious instrument.

Innes uses his spyglass for sighting deer when stalking. The deer numbers need to be culled as there are no predators other than humans.

It is telescopic, with three sections sliding out, the last section allowing you to focus, giving a crystal clear view.

The second challenge was to learn how to line the inside with felt. I’ve never lined any of my work before so off to YouTube to find out how other people do it!

Once I’d worked out how I made a test piece, which I decided could be a dice cup (anyone want it?!)

Pleased with the result I started making the case from oak bark tanned British cow leather – a very traditional and rugged leather that will last for many years to come.

It took me two full days but I got there in the end. And what a pleasurable experience it was. I molded the ends by wetting circular pieces of leather and pushing them into the right-sized cup with a slightly smaller plastic bottle! Worked a treat!

Here’s the end result:

I made a short video to show you how it all fits together…

So, do you like what you see? Do you have an unusual leather need? Something you can’t just buy from the high street or Amazon? Drop me a line and I’d be happy to chat. Or maybe you also have a Gray & Company spyglass that needs a new case!

Gladstone Bag Repair

A lady brought me this bag that was her Grandfather’s bag, made about 80 years ago. Some stitching had failed and one of the side walls had collapsed. Here’s what I did to repair it.

You can see how the side wall had collapsed. Looking inside, after removing the deteriorating lining, the reinforcing cardboard was broken.

To straighten this out I soaked the cardboard to soften it, then flattened it out and left it to dry with weights holding it down. Once dry I glued a new reinforcing piece of cardboard in place.

Next up was time to fix the holes in the corners where the stitching had deteriorated.

There were two ways to fix this. The first was to remove the metal frame around the opening, remove the reinforcing cardboard and turn the bag inside out. This seemed too big a job and I was in danger of not finding the correct rivets to attach the frame again. So I opted to wearing a head torch, and using a curved needle to work from inside the bag! Quite fiddly but possible.

Finally the bag needed a good clean, oil and wax, and it was ready to go. A beautiful little thing. I’d love to work on more of these. An absolute pleasure.

If you have an old and cherished leather item that’s in need of some love and repair then please drop me a line with some photos. I’d love to help.

Say “No” to Plastic Bottles!

I’ve always cared about the environment and dislike the amount of plastic floating around, especially single-use plastic. I aim to produce leather goods that will last for years and not just be thrown away. So here’s my new line of leather covers for glass bottles. You can fill your bottle with tap water (or something stronger!) and enjoy the unadulterated taste of drinking from glass – plastic bottles make drinks taste horrible, in my opinion.

Available to order from my Etsy shop: Glass Hip Flasks

And if you’re after something smaller for gin or whisky I have Stainless Steel Hip Flasks too!

Going Full Time!

For the past 10 years I’ve been juggling my leather work with my office job in Preston. But finally all my hard work of building my leather skills and my leather work business has paid off, so I handed in my notice in July! Hooray!! I’m having to work my 3 months notice, so October 4th 2019 is my final day of working for the “man”! Can’t wait!

So, here’s where you come in. In order to make sure I can continue to feed my family I need my orders to continue to come in thick and fast. Please let people know about my work. Not only do I sell ready-made leather products but I also:

  • work with customers on bespoke items,
  • carry out repair work,
  • run courses on leather work, and
  • sell small pieces of leather for you to work with.

Here’s to a future of creating and making, rather than sitting in front of a computer screen all day long!