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Working with my Hands

Updated: Jul 11, 2021

Drew talks a little bit about working with leather and his hands.

Woman laying down on a couch

I’m currently reading A Craftsman's Legacy by Eric Gorges. It’s an inspiring book covering stories from a collection of handcrafts men/women from all around the world - carpenters, leather workers, etc. I was drawn to this book because of my own fascination of working with my hands - apparently I’m not the only one. Looking back over my life, I have chosen to always work with my hands: building bikes, EOD, playing the drums and leather craft.

I guess I'm drawn into the process of achieving that end game. The figuring-out part that makes up the in-between. How will it look, how will we make that, what material should we use - yes these are all important but where I start to really get into the process, is as I cut the leather, when my hands start stitching pieces together, pushing it through the machine, punching holes, folding and pulling everything into place. It's about all the little building bits that finally produce the intended outcome. Step by step.

I don't really like working "by the book". Of course there are certain things I need to adhere too, but often I just like to wing it; to figure it out for myself ...with my hands. That's the joy for me.

"I’ve always been this way, and certainly “mistakes” are made. But as this book reminds me (and I know myself), I can’t really call them mistakes because I learn for next time. Really learn, because my hands and mind have experienced what didn’t work which makes them ready for what will."

A couple of weeks ago I got to see my grandpa - he’s 89 this week and has been an upholster of cars for more than 60 years. Although his health makes day-to-day living uncomfortable and quiet, my grandpa is never more at peace than when he is in the studio. Surrounded by leather, sewing machines and vintage cars, he quickly recalls every detail of the very first project he worked on. On this latest visit, I showed him the newest addition to our product line (named after his own, late wife Peggy). As I held up my work (nervously hoping for this great man's approval), I watched him take it with both hands. Both hands ran all over the leather touching everything - the stitches, the lining, the rivets, everything …

With relief I did get his approval, but beyond this I was also left with the joy of knowing that he too gets it. That he too likes working with his hands.

Happy Birthday Grandpa. You will forever be an inspiration to me.

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