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.
This month featured national leathercraft day (15th August) and online I saw many, people showcasing their best works, whether they are new to the hobby, training or a master of the trade already. It was lovely to see this handmade culture evolving and developing from so many walks of life.
This month has been a turning point for a lot of business’. We are now returning to a ‘semi-normal’ version of what life used to be like. I cannot express how much I miss being in the workshop. This was up until I found my first job was a bespoke belt to make which required stitching around the entire length, my fingers which had become extremely soft during lockdown were not pleased with this shock of work!
Last month I spoke about economical leather, and this month I wanted to focus on buckle and fittings manufacture. Looking at the bigger picture of how and where items are made is so important to have conscious confidence in reliability but also high standards for the product...
There has been debate about hobbyists in recent months. There was an idea that hobbyists are devaluing the worth of trained leatherworkers and saddlers, which quite frankly isn’t true in the slightest. The real truth is that hobbyists are so important to keeping the fascination and constant attention drawn towards leatherwork.
I’m fortunate to have the space to work from home but I know there are so many people who have much uncertainty about their jobs and their income.
I’m extremely lucky to be able to have help from so many different people and places. Not only in a time of crisis like now but with every piece of work and every step I’ve made in the saddlery trade. In the last couple of blogs, I have mentioned the three different Apprenticeships I am completing and thought it would be key to explain who all these people are who are helping me so much with pursuing my dream...
Let us presume that accidentally you fell in love with leathercraft and realised that you are eager to study more. You want to learn the skills needed to create more advanced handcrafted leather objects. The opportunities for further studies are many, depending on the time and money you have. Online videos (www.leathercraftmasterclass.com, www.peternitz.com), webinars, and books an excellent initial route of collecting knowledge.
This blog will mark the end of the Saddlers competition season, as we embark on the outdoor show season for many riders and horse owners. Winter can be seen as a quiet time in the year with mud often up to your knees and rain almost every day and it can be hard to be productive. However, for us saddlers, we have been busy working towards the National Saddlery Competition at Saddlers’ Hall in London...
As this is my first blog it would only be polite to introduce myself. My name is Zoë Hurst, I am an apprentice Saddler and Saddle Fitter, under the tutorage of Master Saddler and Saddle Fitter Laurence Pearman, at Cirencester Saddlers, in Gloucestershire.
I have a very faithful labrador-springer cross called Monty and dream of being a Master Saddler and Harness Maker and having a farmhouse cottage in the Cotswold countryside filled with as many dogs as I can fit in…..
I’ll start off by saying if you were ever to read one of the blogs I’ve written over the last year, this is the one I’d want you to read. Especially seeing it’s the start of the new decade and many are taking a moment to give their life a once over.
The exact moment I realised I needed to change my life happened in 2014 when I was sitting on a bale in the hayloft trying not to cry at work. It was in that moment I was at my “rock bottom”. I’d felt totally useless and incompetent for so long and that day had been the breaking point.