52 Weeks 52 Tests – Week 7 – Leather craft

Week 7 of the year, and 7th new experiment.
After 2 months of challenge, I can already feel that I am now always looking forward for the week ahead with a sense of excitement! On top of that, some of you readers, friends and strangers have been telling me that my “quest” is interesting and inspiring… So, Thank you, and you can be sure I will carry on 🙂
This week I tried crafting leather. Yes, LEATHER, that noble fabric that evokes style, durability, and, well, craftsmanship…
I booked a beginner class with Atelier Lodge, a training structure based in the cool ‘hood of Arab Street / Haji Lane.
Bali lane, Singapore
The class was to last 3 hours of hands-on practice, guided by a professional trainer, to try and make a leather card holder.
After a few security instructions and explanation about the tools and how the session was going to roll, we were given a toolbox and templates of the right shapes and sizes for the card holder.
We would have to draw on leather, cut the different parts, and then fork them, glue them, and stitch them together into the final product. Hands-on baby!
First, we learned the basics of leather cutting with a pen knife and a ruler.


Cutting leather


Then, moving on with the preparation of the parts, we also learned to groove the pieces, to score them, and to varnish their edges.


Pen knife, leather parts and score tool
As you can see below, we were not too many in the class. Thus every one could go at its own rhythm, and coach Fabian did an admirable job helping each student through the creation.


At the Atelier


I can totally see why leather craft is not an easy one. Whilst I was very focused, had slept enough for this morning class, and was working with a very forgiving leather (water buffalo), I made many mistakes: over-shot while cutting, put too much glue and as a consequence lost a lot of time and energy to pass the needle through, and more… I did not find the various moves difficult in themselves, but practice makes perfect, probably in the range of 10,000 hours


Halfway there! Hand stitching


So after a few corrections from the instructor, and 3 hours + of work, the finished product was there in my hands, with pride!


Ta Da! Handmade card holder!
I am very proud of this object, and what’s more, I already loved it in its making. The touch of leather, the special tools, every thing about this learning experience was awesome. I will be back for more learning!
Especially, and that is the very sad, stupid, annoying part of the story: I lost the card holder the same day, probably at The Gathering festival where I went straight after the leather class… There were business cards inside the holder, so if you found my work of love and read this, please show some compassion, and return it to me! I’ll buy you a beer!… So pissed with myself about it…
The Gathering was an awesome festival, though, at Fort Canning park which is probably the best venue in town for such events. This year showed an impressive line up for Singapore (no offense to the bands touring here, but we rar
ely get to see the cream of the cream of upcoming indie music…).
Three of them even are on my list of the best albums from 2014
We are getting better and better cultural content in Singapore, and that’s an excellent thing!
Belle and Sebastian
Real Estate


I do not have good pictures of Temples, but they delivered a good performance, although lacking in communication with the public.
Same for TuNe YaRdS who is a great band, with crazy experimentation that they manage to pull together into a consisitent sound, which sounds like nothing else!
But the highlight of the festival was assuredly Caribou, who set the park on fire…


  I could even shake these guys hands and get my CD signed 🙂

Now, what’s on for next week in my 52 Weeks 52 Trials challenge? I am not sure yet, but I have a Wunderlist long enough to not lack inspiration! So, stay tuned & keep testing new stuff!

Check out what I did in week 8


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