1. having the quality or power of creating.
2. resulting from originality of thought, expression, etc.; imaginative: creative writing.
3. Originative; productive (usually followed by of).
Leathercraft is for me not just about creating masterpieces after masterpieces (not that one of my projects were real masterpieces, even if I would try). For me, it is all about the points mentioned above and especially the latter. Just doing, being productive. Exactly a year ago I started ‘doing’ or ‘being creative’. When I do something, I want to do it as good as I can. So first I started to do some research. I searched through websites, tutorials, videos and even books!
The creative Newbie
Since I was a complete newbie and I wanted it to do it by myself without any lessons, I have asked a very friendly craftsman from Etsy ‘what will be the minimum of tools to start leathercraft?’, later more on this. At first sight, it seemed that leathercraft has completely vanished in the Netherlands, where I am from, but after a long search (finally with the right names of instruments and tools) on the internet I found my supplies and bought some scrap leather to practice.
The start of the learning process
My first project was going to be a ‘business card holder’ because I had received my first ones a little while ago. Well, let me say, I have learned a lot from that first project. 1. I can’t cut straight lines off the cuff with leather that has some stretch in it. So use a ruler, especially a metal one where you can’t cut off your fingertips and can’t cut into the ruler. Since your knives need to be sharp to cut the leather like butter and not metal. 2. Don’t forget the margins for the stitching. Ignoring this rule resulted into that my cards didn’t fit into the business card holder…. Oh dear, too bad. 3. Make a mall of paper to be sure where to cut and where to place and stitch each part of it. Even if it is as small as a business card holder.
The biggest creative lesson
The biggest lesson I have learned from this project is that you are not a machine. When you make something by hand it will be perfect only if it has some human flaws. Although that does not mean it should not be pretty and that I still had to and even today still have to learn from each project. Do you have any tips to improve one’s leathercraft skills?
image by Wooden Earth Ltd