Hi, I am Mike. I’ve been learning the traditional craft of leatherworking for around 7 years, in sporadic patches on and off, but 2018 was the year I dedicated time almost everyday, to learning the intricacies and techniques of leather craftsmen past and present.
My skills and style have changed from when I first started and there’s certainly an american old west thread running through my work. Well built, sometimes heavily decorated and embellished, sometimes just subtle hints of flair. It doesn’t matter how much time and leather it’s taken me to get to this point, what matters to me is that I’ve learned something on every item I’ve made. Every time I carve and tool a new piece of leather, whenever I paint a design I’ve created for a customer, I get just that little bit more experience. That’s the value I see in the bespoke items I create for customers.
Books, videos and online tutorials, hours of practice and thousands of stitches, repeated strikes of the maul on a stamping tool, leaving its impression permanently on the leather, I am now a man obsessed with the challenge of creating beautiful, individual works of functional art.
With a love of the outdoors, being brought up on John Wayne spaghetti westerns, seeing those gun rigs or axe and knife sheaths, some with detailed carving and and artwork, I just had to find out how it was done.
Being on this little island of Great Britain though, made it very difficult. Theres just so few carvers and toolers here. Lots of resources and tools have been sourced from other countries, tools from America and Australia, books from different regions of America with their different styles unique to the lifestyle and cultural identity of their western life.
Al Stohlman, Jim Linnell, George Hurst and Don Gonzales have all, without knowing it, inspired and driven my passion and style. I am now working on a more European tase of artwork that i know will be popular with customers old and new.
I will be doing my very best to promote, teach and source high quality tools and supplies for this incredible, highly addictive and creative genre of leather working. I hope my enthusiasm helps others to take up the tools and simply create something, anything. The first time you step back and see, with fresh eyes, what you’ve just done to a flat piece of cow skin, you will surprise yourself.