The Stirrup Handbag

The Stirrup Handbag

You may have already seen the Stirrup handbag for sale over in my online shop. Its design had been swimming around in my mind for a little while. You should have gathered from the website, by now, that all my items are handmade using traditional saddler skills and techniques. With this in mind, I thought it would be nice to show you how I made this bag. The Design Usually I get a design for a new product pop into my head when I am doing something totally unrelated to work. In this case I had the stirrup handbag come to mind when I was cleaning my horse's saddle. I was removing the stirrup irons from their leathers ready to give them all a good clean, when whilst holding the irons in my hand. The idea of being able to hold the irons through the stirrup leather's hole came to me. When I had a moment to myself, I quickly sketched out the design in my...
Read More
5 Reasons Why The Saddle Keyring Is So Popular

5 Reasons Why The Saddle Keyring Is So Popular

Since the Coronavirus pandemic took hold and effectively locked us away in our homes, online shopping has become the new norm. Here are 5 reasons why the Saddle Keyring is so popular. Amidst the uncertain future we presently face, I have had to rethink my business plan. For me, the potential to earn some income is better than none at all. As a consequence, I decided to craft a product that is both fun to make and unique in its own right. Making sure it is affordable to a whole new group of potential customers was another reason for designing this product. Five years ago, when I started training to become a Saddler, I made a small saddle keyring. I absolutely adore it and still have it on my car keys today. However, as I am very aware of copyright, I didn't want to 'copy' the same design. So, I carried out some research and sketched a few possibilities. 1) Designs To Suit...
Read More
Designing Equestrian-Themed Bags

Designing Equestrian-Themed Bags

Since starting my leatherwork journey all those years ago I have been passionate about designing bespoke equestrian-themed bags. The Stirrup Handbag Most recently, I designed the Stirrup bag, which depicts the shape of an English stirrup iron. Hand cut from natural russet leather. The design is carved and tooled to form the shape and definition of a stirrup iron, by hand. The stirrup design is painted in acrylic silver. Also the middle of the stirrup design is stained in a deep black dye to finish the look. Before the bag is constructed the front panels are lined in a beautiful black suede. Finally, the black soft leather gusset is handstitched in a silver waxed linen thread. Horseshoe Barrel Bag Last year, I made the Horseshoe Barrel bag as my entry to the 'President's Choice' class, at the National Saddlery Competition, in London. I had previously received a pair of very old bowls bags that were in desperate need of repair and restoration. Whilst the bags...
Read More
5 Years A Leather Worker

5 Years A Leather Worker

This week (just gone) marks 5 years of me becoming a leather worker. How time sure flies when you're having fun. Although it hasn't all been plain sailing. There has been many peaks and troughs to this journey. First Ever leather workshop This time, 5 years ago, I completed my first ever week of leatherwork training. I had booked onto a privately run beginners leatherwork workshop at Saddlers Den, in Southport. Where under the guidance of Chris Taylor, Master Saddler, I attended 7-hour sessions each day for 5 days. What an amazing experience; I loved it! In those 5 days, I managed to learn how to stitch a traditional saddle stitch into 3.5/4mm bridle leather, using just two needles and a thread. I then made a belt; a magic plaited bracelet and a simple snaffle bridle before the week was up. I went home really pleased with myself and proud as punch. Gaining qualifications Since then, I have continued my training journey to become a qualified saddler by completing...
Read More
Launching The Saddle Keyring

Launching The Saddle Keyring

If you followed my social media stories last weekend, you will have witnessed the launching of my Saddle Keyring. To be honest it was a fluke product, that developed through desperation. Inspiration At my very first leather workshop at Saddlers Den, we made a saddle-shaped keyring with a Saddler's Den pin attached. I loved it and still have it to this day. Since then I've always wanted to make my own. However, I knew it had to be different and I wanted it more detailed. I just couldn't get a design to stick in my head. Choosing The Right Leather Knowing that this product could not be made from Sedgwick Bridle Leather. I was determined to find a British equivalent of Russet Tooling leather. Whilst on Lockdown... So, whilst on lockdown, with little income coming in. It seemed the right time to look at how I can produce something new. Something that still challenges me and is able to be sold for a profit, yet still, affordable...
Read More