around the studio

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A little bit of wood work and a lot of leather prep this past week or so.

It was my brother’s birthday last week, and I made him a cherry wood spoon to pair with some other gifts. This was one of my favorites of the spoons I’ve made so far – the size, the shape, the long handle – and I really enjoyed working with cherry. It has a dense grain and polished up so smoothly.

Often, and still to my surprise, the preparation of leather straps takes the longest of any other single process in the making of a bag. It begins with the hide, which I cut into strips. The strips are then split to thickness, beveled, oiled and then set aside overnight to allow the oil to soak in. If the leather is to remain natural, it is then rubbed with a wax finish, and the edges are burnished with beeswax. If the leather is to be stained, as you see above, this typically takes 3 passes, front/sides/back, with drying in between each pass. The leather is then set aside again to dry. Once the staining is to my satisfaction, the straps are rubbed with a wax finish, and the edges are burnished with beeswax. Finally, they are ready for hardware to be set, holes to be punched, etc.

I’m working on some bags in new colors for a wholesale client. They’re almost done, and as soon as they are I’ll share more. I especially love that green!

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