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Since I represent a disproportionate portion of the leatheroblogosphere (yes, I just made that up), I decided that it’s my responsibility to define what the serious controversies and issues in leather work should be.  This will help define the topics on which I can argue with myself, perhaps take contrary views from time to time, offer myself a guest blog post, and maybe work my way up to banning myself from my site.

So here are some initial suggestions offered up for comment (likely also by myself)…

Leather craft or leathercraft?

Fairly self-explanatory, I think.  Or should we find a pseudo-Latin alternate term?  “Leathersmithing” doesn’t please my spell check any more than leathercraft. Searching for “leather” is frankly a lost cause, since you’re going to find either thinly-veiled commercial pimp blogs hawking their wares, or mentions of the latest mass-produced thing found at the local marché, or perhaps bondage gear.  (I’m not judging.  I’m sure that was an accidental click.  Or six.)

The Sheridan style

I’m a-gin’ it.  Seriously.  I have no use for this at all, except in learning how to use the techniques to make something I am interested in looking at.

Tandy leather: defender of the craft, exploiter of the newbs, or somewhere in between?

Leatherworker.net forum posts frequently go into Tandy-bashing.  I have not figured out why, exactly, except that yes, much more expensive and nicer stuff is out there for the pros.  On the other hand, I’ve seen utterly fantastic things produced by Ian Atkinson, who has zero problems using Tandy or anything else he can get his hands on at reasonable cost and availability.  Point goes to Tandy so far, without which I would not likely be in the field at all.  But I reserve the right to change my mind, and, of course, I have my critiques of their product line.

Is it really Steampunk when all you did was add a gear?

Maybe we can best fan the flames (of discourse) by flaming the fans of a beloved sub-field in leather work.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say ‘no,’ but note that you can apparently charge twice as much if you do.

Oil-tanned leather: can you do anything about the edges?

Some say yes, some say no.  The “yes” people, like Bigfoot hunters, have yet to produce any convincing evidence.  My starting opinion: no, so keep your knife sharp.

Seriously, whiskey tango foxtrot, over?

Seriously, whiskey tango foxtrot, over?

Absolutely worst, done-to-death please-stop-you’re-killing-the-art leather work cliché?

(Aside from the Sheridan style, I mean.)

(And also Steampunk.)

(Also also bondage gear.)

Moving on.

Our duty to society to only perform works which agree with our social conscience and further the cause of enlightenment and peace.

Get bent.  If I could make a gun out of leather that shot other guns that turned into robots, I would.

[EDIT:  I forgot one of the big ones…]

Just how exactly ought we be defining the term “hand-made” as it applies to leather goods?

Seriously, the “handmade” leather journals at Barnes & Noble are very nice to look at, but the only hands involved were the ones that fed them into a machine.  You can’t tell me those were done by a human.


I think that’s more than enough for now, but I’m sure there are some obvious things I missed.  Ideas?