Visit any leather shop in the world, from Jakarta to Reykjavík, and you will find tubs and barrels of scraps. End pieces of belts that were cut off too short, all the way to wavy deformed sheets of hide that fell behind the register. The truth is that leather is fluid and as much as we try, there’s so much unusable material, that it can get tough to keep up.
Unlike wood or metal that has very exact measurements at the basest level, leather is a living material that is never the same. Sure, there are machines that try to make everything perfect so they can be horribly wasteful and punch out a zillion copies of the same item for mass production. But that method cuts costs, falls apart, and is discarded for the next spring line. But, I digress.
I don’t like seeing anything go to waste, so sometimes, when I wind up with a piece that’s completely useless for my regular designs, instead of tossing it in the chuck bucket, I remember why this is such a cool thing to be doing, and make something new. The design, admittedly, is the basic standard of every other shop on the planet. Two folds and two stitches. But, instead of trying to make the leather look like something I designed, I designed around the leather. Kinda like one of those houses that builds around the existing trees.
As it turns out, sometimes you find some pretty cool lines in the busted end of a throw-away.