Happy Spring 2021!
Working through the winter doldrums, I usually enjoy spending a couple of hibernating months developing a new product, for the forth-coming year’s shows.
Last year, winter 2020, I developed what I’m calling the “Stage 1” and “Stage 2” Carry-On bags.
This was a result of the many requests I have received, for a bag that folks can throw a a few changes of clothes and gear into, and use as a carry-on, for flights or weekend getaways.
I made a handful of prototypes, using Horween CXL, Crazy Horse and a few other New England tanned leathers, I had in stock.
I lined the Stage 1 with a black, waxed canvas material, with solid brass hardware and a bridle leather carry strap.
On a short, two day trip, I was able to use my test bag, and was real pleased with its service.
Additional inspiration led me to make a slightly smaller version – the Stage 2 - also a handy carry-on, which I didn’t line. It does have the same waxed canvas interior top flap, which nicely covers your wears – under the inside bridle leather straps and the main leather flap.
Well, with the Covid Pandemic, starting to shut things down last March, all of the 2020 shows, where I was hoping to introduce these bags, were canceled.
Both models have been well received, in a much smaller unveiling, but nothing like the audience I was hoping to present them to, at the shows.
So, this past winter, with a large inventory of bags that never made it to shows, I decided to make a slight departure from bag making.
I have been a true admirer of the Roorkee Campaign Chair, for some time. This chair has two main components – wood and leather.
Not being a wood turner, myself, it took a bit of bush beating, to find a skilled woodworker to turn some frames.
I was very fortunate to find an accomplished, well-versed, sympathetic wood turning craftsman, and we were off to the races.
After receiving a couple of beautifully made frames, drafting up my own pattern, ordering some hides and hardware, I spent a couple weeks making up two chairs.
I have to say, that I’m extremely pleased, with the outcome, and have been testing one of them, daily.
I recently received notice that a couple of my favorite shows were canceling, for the forthcoming season, and a couple are still, with fingers crossed, hoping to take place.
It’s a lot of hard work, time consuming and expensive to do these shows, but the welcoming camaraderie of again seeing other makers, customers – past and new, are spiritually (and hopefully financially) very uplifting.
No matter how many shows you engage in, how many sales you make, the validation process continues to be necessary.
So far, 2021 is looking like a much more enjoyable year.