Since my last blog I have been my usual busy self, still trying to find the work, life and horse balance, which so far has been successful. April started with some downtime on Easter holiday away from work which I spent with my daughter, Chloe and plenty of horse activities. I then returned to work for the week, knuckling down with my apprenticeship. Ceremonial rehearsals do not take place whilst everyone is away on holiday, so this is a perfect opportunity to work on my apprenticeship.
Since my last blog I have been able to visit the Abbey England warehouse in Knutsford, Cheshire. I spent some time researching and thinking about the tools and leather I wanted to purchase with my leather scholarship fund and was excited to visit the warehouse and explore everything.
I am a leather crafter, so generally the leather I have chosen to go for in the past has easily fit that bill – thin, maybe not too expensive so I could experiment, but still have a beautiful colouring and texture.
Hey everyone, Where to start! This is my first blog with Abbey England since winning the Scholarship for Leatherwork. March has come and gone in the blink of an eye but I have managed to be quite productive in spite of all the current coronavirus madness! A big win for this month was getting my YouTube channel up and running...
At work we have had the green light for some form of ceremonial duties to go ahead for the year. We have begun training for Royal Windsor Horse show at which we perform The Musical Drive. I have been asked to ride Number One position for B sub section.
It is excellent that Abbey England continues its annual tradition and grants two further awards for 2021! I do not know who the winners are yet but I'm certain that Abbey England's team will make a good choice. You will have an opportunity to read the winners' blogs about their experiences and adventures in the leather and saddlery industries. For me, writing this blog this year proved to be a very useful and restorative exercise. I will keep writing posts next year, but on my own website.
This month has been another hit for saddlers up and down the country. With many businesses having to work behind closed doors and unable to be deemed essential enough to be open for customers. Making business, making bespoke items, much trickier than normal relying on customers measurements and working designs through phone calls, sketches, and emailed photographs!
Last year I made a small batch of micro bags as Christmas tree decorations. This year I have decided to keep this tradition going and created micro Kensington satchels, a simplified mini version of my signature bags. I used off-cuts of the same leathers and suede as used for my real size bags production.
This time I want to share some information which might be useful for other leather makers and designers. Last week as part of the London Craft Week program, I visited Deptford Cockpitarts Studios. It is a memorable place for me. First of all, this is where I attended my first bag making course and realised it is to become my new profession. Then at some point last year I was invited for an interview with Cockpit Arts / Leathersellers' Award. It was a great opportunity. I was looking so much forward to it, but got so excited that mixed up the dates and failed to show up for the interview.
Relying on old and trusted things such as our houses and our favourite slippers is something very common, however, these things get worn. They need a bit of help and TLC, and this month has definitely been one for restoration. Going from a well-loved billiards box to replacing the webbing on a cartridge bag, the bursting seams of a briefcase, an endless amount of replaced straps, new handles, new chapes and even a chair or two to re-upholster.
We are on the hunt for two inspiring leatherworkers who will benefit from our scholarship scheme. So, if you are have saddlery or leather background, apply now for the opportunity of receiving £500 worth of workshop materials from Abbey England. Find out how you can apply here. Closing date for applications is Friday 27th November.