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Osborne Awl will do the trick. I thought I would end this write up with how I started my own journey in Leatherworking. Like most people I was searching for a new hobby and was initially drawn to Woodworking. I stumbled across an old Leatherworking article online and started doing some research. It looked like fun to make something so useful and beautiful with your hands I was immediately hooked on the idea. Taking my own advice from above I set out to find a community of Leatherworkers I could learn from.

I joined the Leatherworker. I had an idea of the goods I wanted to make in my head and this content was a perfect fit. While much smaller at the time, I have to this date read all pages of this thread multiple times. Again, learning the lingo and applying that knowledge to my purchases and techniques. Instead of providing a catch all step-by-step guide on how to purchase tools I wanted to provide you with a mindset for starting your own way. There are so many different facets to Leatherworking I think it would be disingenuous to lump them all into one specific path.

How To Start Leatherworking As A Hobby

Get an idea of what you want to create, do a little bit of background research so you can make smart purchases, get started and learn by doing! Makesupply is a website offering leathercraft tutorials, templates, tips, and small batch supplies. Here you will find video build-alongs, downloadable and acrylic leather templates, andmore. We have products available in our web store and our Etsy store. Follow us on Instagram for the most up to date content.


  • Ailleurs.
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Please e-mail us any questions, comments, or concerns: makesupplyleather gmail. Info Published on July 23rd, by makesupply 0.

Getting Started in Leathercrafting

These specialty leathers worked well for tooling handbags, belts, billfolds, and other piece goods, and that element of their business grew and became very profitable. When Charles Tandy returned from service in , the Hinckley-Tandy Leather Company opened two pilot stores specializing in leathercraft.

Simple Leather Project – Coyote and Night - NatureOutside

The began to go into two different directions and eventually split in , with Norton Hinckley taking the shoe supply business and the Tandy family aggressively pursuing the leathercraft business. The father and son duo worked quite well as a team. Dave had 30 years of experience in the business and knew the merchandise whereas Charles was more keenly aware of what was happening in the marketplace and focused on expanding the leathercraft industry. To help market the business, they developed a catalog and grew their mailing list by placing small ads in Popular Science magazine.

By , the Tandy brand had extended to 67 stores in 36 states. In , Dave Tandy retired as president, leaving the future of the leathercraft industry in the capable hands of his son Charles. Cliff Ketchum — approached leather carving as an art form, raising the bar of floral carving for many of his early contemporaries. When in high school, he began doing piece work at a rate of 35 cents an hour. He apprenticed under Master Saddlemaker Luis Ringlero and managed to work his way through a year of college at the University of Arizona living off of his leatherwork.

At age 22, he briefly moved to California to start a saddle shop in San Fernando Valley Lichtenberger-Feruson stamping for Ed Gilmour when the war beckoned. Ketchum joined the Army and served in the war effort from to , before returning to the Los Angeles area where he started his own saddle shop with Art Hugenberger. Although a likable and laid back individual, Ketchum was a staunch businessman who knew the value of his work. Some of the Hollywood shops tried to pit him against Ken Griffin to drive down prices, however the two organized local leatherworkers to compare prices and agree not to undercut each other.

Like Griffin, Ketchum was also a regular contributor to the early Doodle Pages produced by Craftool , regularly sharing insights and tips on mastering floral carving.

“What Kind Of Leather Goods Do I Want To Make?”

The history of Tandy Leather is closely tied with the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. During his initial tour of duty in Hawaii, young Charles discovered how leather crafts were being used for therapeutic and recreational applications in the military hospitals. With the outbreak of World War II, leather became vital to the war effort and was limited for civilian use.

The company began providing resources for therapeutic leathercraft programs in hospitals, military recreation centers, and for rehabilitation. Al Stohlman and many of the other early pioneers of leathercraft were veterans who began tinkering with leather during their tours of duty and paved the way for the leathercraft industry upon their discharge. Upon sharing their leather projects, often friends and relatives would want to know where they could learn.

Tandy became a popular destination for military families, many soldiers teaching their kids leathercraft while on leave. Hurst also remembers the impact that leathercraft had on long-term care patients, such as military hospitals and VA facilities. It has traditionally been used in both physical therapy to rehabilitate motor skills and mental therapy to provide a task to keep their mind focused.

In both cases, leathercraft has often been useful in fighting the onset of depression and anxiety in patients by providing a sense of value and productivity. I was medically retired in March after 13 years of service, but leatherworking has been my personal salvation, providing me with an outlet since To many of our employees and customers at Tandy Leather, Memorial Day is much more than just a day off to celebrate with family; we observe this day in remembrance of those who sacrificed so we have the freedom to celebrate.

Ken Griffin was a key contributor to the birth of the modern age of leathercraft, helping bridge the gap between an era of vocational leatherworkers to a craft that is available and accessible to the leather hobbyist around the world. His books and his introduction of the Doodle Page helped teach the masses the love of leathercraft. His success in the leatherworking industry provided Griffin the opportunity to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a magician, also earning he and his wife global notoriety in a second vocation. Born in Magnum, Oklahoma, Ken Griffin was the youngest of When he was young, Ken loved to draw and read, his favorite being Western Americana.

He took his first job on a ranch in Deming, New Mexico as a Cowboy for the summer when he was fourteen and spent his summers rodeoing and working on ranches. Ken regularly visited a local saddle shop for leather goods or to get his saddle repaired and always admired the hand carved leatherwork.


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  4. The shop he was working with hired a young local actress named Roberta to wear their products out to shows and meetings to promote the business, and Ken began teaching the new shop assistant about working with leather. Not long after, Ken and Roberta had planned to marry. The manufacturing business began to grow and Ken oversaw the manufacturing team. He became running buddies with legendary saddlemaker F. Many attended, however some artisans such as Al Shelton had a tendency to keep to themselves. Young Al Stohlman was just starting out and was more dependent on special orders; no one considered him a threat at that time.

    In addition to raising their 5 children, Roberta became the pick-up and delivery person for merchandise. She also began taking classes on lacing and braiding from Joey Smith, bringing another feature to their family leather business.

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    Simple Leather Project – Coyote and Night

    Ken admired the creativity that leather hobbyists brought to leatherworking, becoming good friends with early leather innovators from Southern California such as Christine Stanley , Lou Roth , and Cliff Ketchum. Ken had always designed his own stamping tools and attracted the attention of Dick McGahen. One afternoon, McGahen was contemplating how to advertise the new stamping tools, to which Ken suggested that perhaps they put sketches in each flyer that will show how to use a particular tool.

    Ken always secretly loved magic and even carried cards in his pocket as a young cowboy to practice card manipulations. With his success in the leather industry, he was afforded the opportunity to pursue his lifelong dream of being a magician. Owner Joe Conway excitedly invited him to make Miles City his home. The show featured scenery, props, and costumes, becoming one of the largest of its kind in the US at that time.

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    The pair spent the rest of their lives touring as a magic act, being featured on the Ed Sullivan show and performing in at least 8 USO tours. Born in , Al Shelton was raised by his father in a humble and hardworking family in Akron, Colorado. He had always admired the culture of the cowboy, so he set off two years later to try his hand in the trade. Shelton went on to work as a cowboy in Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska over the next three and a half years. Although most of the saddles he saw were rather plain, the occasional ornate saddle he would come across fascinated him and he wanted to teach himself how it was done.

    Would you like to learn how to make, AND walk away with a brand new pair of custom made leather thongs Jandals? Master Italian shoemaker, Mario Dato, who has over 50 years experience will show you how to cut, shape, dye and assemble some simple, comfortable footwear, namely leather thongs. Different designs are available in subequent Jandal workshops which will be advanced classes. You need to email Silvia with your current thongs size, and make sure you have closed in footwear on the day, hair tied back and no loose clothing, as you will be using machinery in the workshop.

    Cost is inclusive of: Full days tuition Use of all tools Leather and components Extra tools can be purchased at Birdsalls, or bring your own tools if you have them.