Thank You for 2022!

Carved Leather wallet with Sunflower design
Minimalist wallet with sunflower design.

Thank you and Merry Christmas!

2022 has been another eventful and at times crazy year!  There have been many interesting new projects this year and many new customers.  I want to say thank you to all our customers this year.  We appreciate your business and hope we can make many new and cool things for you next year!


Look for new products next year.  I planning on doing more with belts next year.  If you’re looking for a custom floral carved belt or something with a more complex geometric design, let us know and keep an eye on the website.   We have some interesting designs coming that go beyond just a basketweave design.  Also, look for new handbag and wallet designs coming soon!  And as always, if you have a leather work idea that you would like custom made for you, let us know.


Also, look for more value added content for both the leather worker and for the leather consumer.  We want to make this site more interesting for both our customers and our fellow leather workers, so stay tuned and see what’s coming in 2023!


Once again, thank you to all our customers!  It’s your support that allows us to make all the cool things we do here!  Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

It has been wonderful to serve all the customer’s we’ve been fortunate to have this year!


Improving your leather carving skills – One Simple Technique

One question I am frequently asked is how to improve your leather carving skills. People who are just starting out wonder if there is some magic technique that can make your carving stand out. The answer is that there is nothing magical about it. It’s just a matter of practice!

Veg tan leather carving
Floral carving in leather.

It turns out you don’t need to sell your soul to the devil or perform any magical rites. You also don’t need to possess any superhuman strengths or skills. An average person can improve their carving skills and become really good with one simple technique: Focused Practice.

Focused Practice

Focused practice is concentrating on one aspect of your leatherwork and repeating it again and again with the goal of improving your work each time. In this case it’s working on your carving skills and self-critiquing your work each time.  This was a tip given to me by one of my mentors, noted saddle maker and Hollywood holster reproduction specialist Dusty Johnson.  Dusty was a great guy with years and years of experience and he really helped me out when I was starting off.  

He made the suggestion that in order to make my leather carving skills better I should take a particular small carving design and repeatedly carve it.  So I make this same suggestion to you:  Find a small simple design.  In my case I found a Tandy Craftaid (something like this) and carved it repeatedly.  Dusty recommended carving it five times and after each attempt, take a step back and take a good look at what you have made.  Note the parts that you like about it.  Note the things that you don’t like so much.  Think about those parts and decide what you can do to improve those.  Then try the same design again.  After you have finished that one critique it again.  

Practice pieces for my leather carving skills improvement.
Practice pieces

The image above shows the fourth and fifth versions of the floral design I carved back then.  They look pretty rough to me these days but I carved these over fifteen years ago!  At the time these did represent a significant improvement in my leather carving skills, but over the years I’ve put a lot more effort into my skills and it shows.  

Improving your leather carving skills

If you try this exercise I guarantee that by the time you finish the fifth piece if you place it next to your first attempt you are going to see some improvement. You will probably see a lot of improvement!  Try it again with a different design. The more you do this the more improvement you will see.  This is the core of focused practice.  Concentrating on one part of your skills and working on them again and again to improve them.   And you don’t have to be repeating a practice piece to make this technique work.  Every time you carve something in leather, critique it afterwards to see what you liked and didn’t like and try to improve the stuff you didn’t like next time.  This sort of honest critique will quickly improve your skills.