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Word count/read time: 402 words; 2 minutes

Nothing like a little hanky panky to get things moving! Except that's not what this is about. But don't stifle your imagination if it compels you to continue reading. This is about leather...and lace in its verb form.

A custom order came in recently. An open-ended request, really. Like so open that it could have been anything as long at it was personalized. It was understood to involve metal in some capacity so I was game. After much discussion with his sister, a keyring and luggage tag were chosen.

To make the keyring somewhat upscale, a handmade sterling silver oval disc was personalized with a laser-etched moniker, his college student number. The disc was clearcoated to protect it and preserve the shine. Two 2.0mm hand-forged sterling silver rivets along with a pair of sterling backing washers secured it to a piece of thick, black leather. A standard steel split ring and rivet finished it off.

The luggage tag was a bit more involved. Front and back pieces were cut from a patch of brown leather with a cutout on the front piece to serve as the window. The holes for the stitching were hand-punched. Waxed brown twine was meticulously hand-sewn around three sides. The rivet securing the loop keeps the fourth side tight.

 
It was understood to involve metal in some capacity so I was game.
 
The handmade copper plate was hand-stamped with the owner's name and address. It was painted black and sanded so that only the lettering retained the coloring ("patina" without chemicals). The resulting matte finish was subtle but complemented the leather perfectly. Like the silver disc, the plate was clearcoated for durability, shine, and to ensure it retained its original appearance barring accident or death.

I contracted a third party to laser engrave the sterling silver keyring disc. My glassbead blast cabinet would have done a decent job etching the numbers but I wanted the crispest edges possible. The client's sister did the sewing and design along with much of the leather work. Most of the supplies and tools were purchased from the local craft store.

I shudder to think of the cost for these one-off pieces and did not keep track of the time as it was not that kind of commission. Firsts are always a time toilet! In the end it's another thing to add to the portfolio. To be repeated or not remains to be seen though there is a world of possibilities. Diversity is a good thing.


Posted by M: October 4, 2020


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