Most people come to me for a custom order because they want something unique; something that fits a specific function or matches a personality. Sometimes it’s because they are sick of buying low quality goods that fall apart and want to make an investment in a product that’s going to last.
Whatever the reason, the end result is the same. They want a high quality product, custom made just for them.
Custom orders are a specialised field and are the ultimate in value. Having your dream piece handcrafted into reality cannot be compared to purchasing a mass produced item that you have picked off a shelf.
Custom orders include:
Communication between us is important. We need to ensure that we both have the same end picture in our minds. Therefore, there will be a number of emails/messages between us – asking questions, confirming details and sending photos.
Please understand that this part of the process can be very time consuming and will be included in the quote.
While I do have a range of leather in my workshop, it is quite likely that I will not have the particular piece needed, depending on thickness, colour or type of hide. Rather than order online, I choose to select each piece of leather personally, especially after communicating with you. This involves almost a two hour round trip and is about 125 kilometres but I feel it’s definitely worth the effort to make sure that I find the piece that feels just right.
When I am asked to create a specific look, especially if it’s something I have not done before, I spend a considerable amount of time researching different techniques and materials.
You may know exactly what you want, have a feel for a design but not quite sure how to go about it or you might have no idea at all and just want something unique. Either way, I’m happy to discuss the possibilites with you, draw up a draft design and alter it until we have something that you are happy with.
I am more than happy to create replicas (ie Viking art, etc) and copies of costumes and accessories (for Cosplay/LARP) however please keep in mind that I do not copy other people’s art. If there is a design that you really like, I will work on a variation of it for you but will not copy it outright.
The Mock Costume
When making a costume, before making the leather version of the costume, I will make a mock version and send it to you for trying on. This gives you the opportunity to provide feedback about the way it fits and feels. Please remember though that the material version will be much softer than the leather version and may sit a little different.
Handcrafted leatherwork is about craftsmanship; paying attention to detail and finishing touches, the “little” things that make a big difference. To give you some idea of what’s involved in the process, these are some of the steps:
– Making a pattern for the project to fit your specific requirements, whether that is a bag, book cover, belt, etc.
– Designing the artwork.
– Transferring the pattern and design onto the leather.
– Cutting the leather project.
– Tooling the design into the leather. This is done by hand using a bevelling tool, not stamping or embossing (see The Difference between Hand Tooled and Embossed Leather Products)
– Marking lines for stitch marks.
– Punching each hole individually with an awl.
– Beveling the cut edges of the leather to round them off.
– Burnishing the edges to give them that finished look and smooth feel.
– Stitching, by hand, using two needes (Saddle Stitch) to create a stitch that will not unravel should one stitch be torn.
– In many cases, staining the design by painting over it with a sealer that will allow it to stand out from the background, then applying the stain.
– Sealing the whole project to prevent the stain from running.
– Conditioning the piece with Dubbin.
It’s a lot more involved than most people realise! In today’s society, where most things are instant, it can be hard for some people to even imagine the time that goes into making something completely by hand.
Handcrafted custom orders are unique. They are filled with character (something that cannot be achieved with mass produced or machine made items) and cannot be compared in quality or price. Please take this into consideration when contemplating a custom order. Pricing is calculated individually based on labour, materials and postage and handling.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like a quote, or to place an order.