A Little Competition…In Custom Leatherwork

If you don’t push yourself you won’t grow.

It’s true of any skill, job or art form.  Whether you want to grow in your job, a sport or in art, if you don’t push yourself to reach new heights, learn a new skill or refine what you do, you will just be stuck in the same place.  Stagnant.

A custom leatherwork notebook with floral carving.
My World Leather Debut entry, a custom made leather notebook cover.

That is why I enter the World Leather Debut show in Sheridan, WY.  I have no illusions that I can actually win at this competition.   It is filled with the art work from some of the best leather workers in the world.  Not just the US but exceptional artists from Japan, China and Europe. Their skills and styles are diverse and they bring a full lifetime of pursuit of their art to this show.  For people like me that make artwork in leather, this show is the pinnacle of our art.

Custom Leatherwork

Whenever I am making custom leatherwork I am always trying to do my best.  Each item is made uniquely for that particular customer and I try to make each item as special and exceptional as possible.  But making something like this notebook for a competition that includes some of the best craftsmen and women in the world definitely pushes you to another level.  It also makes you look more critically at your work.  You examine and put more thought into each detail.  You know how high the bar is and you think about how you can improve each step so you can get closer to that bar.

Back cover of a leather notebook cover with floral caring design and geometric stamping
Rear panel of my World Leather Debut notebook.

So while this notebook didn’t win any awards, I know it is some of my best work.  And I believe I will carry the lessons and insights learned in making it into each custom leatherwork piece I do in the next year, so that next year my work will have leveled up just a little bit and I will be that much closer to that high bar.

If you are interested in a custom leather notebook or journal similar to this one, contact me and I will be happy to make something like this for you.

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