Letters From Ross: Leather Explorations
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. Previously to my visit to Abbey England, I would usually buy a small piece of leather to meet the pattern of project I was working on.
Exploring new tools and leather
I brought my wife to the warehouse to show her some of the tools I had chosen and to meet the lovely people at Abbey England. I wanted to take the opportunity to purchase some saddlery tools that I might otherwise overlook. Until now, I have been using a stitching pony attached to my dining table; now I am the proud owner of a saddler’s clam, a brass smasher, strap cutter, and some Osborne punches.
One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Abbey England’s warehouse was to look at the Sedgwick 1900 Leather, which is stunning! Andrew kindly pulled out roll after roll of the different variations. Whilst showing me the new range, he explained that it has been developed with leatherworkers in mind giving a reasonably priced leather, perfect for entry level crafters, without sacrificing on the quality. Of course, I ended up walking away with two and a half shoulders. The natural oiled collection is definitely not to be missed!
Ross's images our the Sedgwick 1900 Collection when visiting Abbey England, Knutsford
Goals for the summer
As the 1900 collection is slightly thicker than I am used to working with, it has given me the perfect opportunity to take on some different projects that I have not yet attempted. I have got my sights on a satchel or messenger bag. Carrying on from last month’s learning, I will also try to develop the design myself, rather than resorting to a pre-made template.