How to Make an Awesome (DIY Leathercraft) Project
How to Make an Awesome (DIY Leathercraft) Project
The best DIY projects start with professional quality kits, and for leathercraft, those kits can only come from Moxie & Oliver.
The best DIY projects start with professional quality kits, and for leathercraft, those kits can only come from Moxie & Oliver. Read more
About this project
If I had to boil over a decade of experience working with leather into one simple take-away, it would be this: to create an heirloom quality leather good, you need to start with the best materials you can find. I have spent the last eleven years finding the most incredible materials to use in my artwork as well as developing the original items you find for sale at Moxie & Oliver. Now, I'm excited to share with you the same materials and components I use in my work, in an easy to complete DIY Leathercraft Kit form!
Why DIY Leathercraft? Why Now?
In late 2013 I was contacted by a publisher from Fons & Porter and asked to write a book. Initially I thought it was a bizarre spam email, but it happened, indeed, to be true. This email that I never expected turned into an experience I never could have dreamed. The process of turning my self-taught, original, leathercraft style into a DIY leathercraft book, Leathercrafted, ignited a passion for teaching and sharing my craft with others. I opened my studio to classes and private workshops, and I started adding kits to my product line.
The response has been overwhelming. Leathercraft is mystifying to many potential leather-DIYers and with a background in teaching, years of leatherworking experience, and a book under my belt, simplifying these projects and getting people started in the field is second nature to me. Students are always surprised at how easy it is to make a piece they are proud of!
What sets Moxie & Oliver Leathercraft kits apart?
As an artist and a small business owner, I take an immense amount of pride in my work, and a large component of that is the quality. When I started Moxie & Oliver my goal was to create leather goods that were as durable as they are beautiful - I wanted heirloom quality in every piece. I have a restless sense of constant improvement, so I'm always looking for ways to strengthen my pieces, and hand-make or locally source component parts for my own work.
In my DIY Leathercraft kits, my commitment to quality is no different than in my own work, but it is worlds away from the commercially available leathercraft kits currently on the market. Each of our kits is handmade in our Seattle studio - cut by the same hands, and of the same materials, that we use to create finished Moxie & Oliver products. Component parts, like the bronze buckles that we use for our Inlay Belt Buckles, well, those are designed by Moxie & Oliver and handmade, exclusively for us, in Seattle as well.
As is true with anything you make - the better quality ingredients you put in, the better quality result you get out. I bet you will agree when you're cooking dinner tonight - fresh, quality ingredients, elevate your meals. An artist quality Moxie & Oliver DIY Kit will allow you to create an heirloom quality leather project with your own artwork on it.
How will you use the funds?
All of the money that we raise on Kickstarter will be used in the development and production of new leathercraft kits. In order to economically produce any of our kits, we use a die cutting machine (think of it like an enormous hand to smash giant cookie cutters through the leather, and you've pretty much got the idea). The problem is that these dies are incredibly expensive. The die set for our clutch wallet kit alone was over $1,000. We would like to add bifold and trifold wallets to our line of offerings - both made in Seattle, full-grain vegetable tanned leather outside, hand-sewn kidskin leather insides. The prototypes for these wallets are done, and they're amazing.
What if you make more than your goal?
The short answer is that more funding = more kits being made. We'll ask for your input, too. Maybe it's a kit for our Travel Bag, or our Valet Trays. If the funding exceeds the goal, I will set up a poll and anyone who contributes gets a say in what kits those funds are used to create. Awesome, right?
But then there is this dream, and it's a big reach, but if you're as passionate about leathercraft as I am, it's do-able. I would love to open a DIY Leathercraft Studio in Seattle. We'd run awesome business hours so you could come in on your lunchbreak, after work, or on the weekend, make a little leather project, have some coffee or cider, and then triumphantly return to your daily life (only to return again the next week because, let's face it, this is addicting). We could also host school events, parties for kids and adults, Holiday parties for your office? Humm?
Right now, that's just a dream, but you could help me make it a reality.
Risks and challenges
In the words of Dan Quayle, We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur."
After years of basically producing these kits so that I could use them to create my own finished goods, I've become relatively adept at finding a quick and creative solution to any problems that could arise.
Our biggest problems historically are supply-chain issues: what if our leather supplier is backed up? Out of stock of the hide we use? Well, that's why we have more than one supplier ready to ship us our raw material. And the worst-case scenario, is that it puts us 2-4 weeks behind on our production (but that has not yet happened).
We use only one machine in the production of our kits, and the rest is done by hand. We have a skilled hydrolic mechanic in our Rolodex who can come fix our die cutter at a moment's notice, and in the very worst case scenario, there is a company locally that does die cutting and we could bring our hides and dies to them. So our setbacks here would be a day at most.
Now, if we break our hands, that's a bigger problem, but I do have some emergency back-up assistants on file. We'll call in all the troops and we'll get it done, so you can get to crafting!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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