We were aiming to create an authentic item that was durable, practical, simple and inspiring. The design was first sketched out by hand. The bold, industrial design was created to work as a stamp to deboss the surface of the leather.
The vegetable tanned saddle hide leather was selected from Thomas Ware & Sons Ltd. This bristol based tannery have been making fine leathers since 1840. The leather is then hand finished, graded and gauged ready for cutting. A high quality Sheffield steel cutting tool was created at the forge, creased into a hexagonal form and welded into shape.
The debossing plate was etched into a solid magnesium plate to create a stamp to be used on the press.
We collaborated with Hrothgar Stibbon, a traditional leather worker based in Bristol, to hand craft each coaster with care and attention. Each coaster was cut to shape and then debossed with the design to acieve a solid, durable and deep stamped effect into the surface.
Collaborating with Hrothgar Stibbon and Thomas Ware & Sons Ltd. on this project was an absolute pleasure. The quality of the leather surface of each coaster is superb and completely unique. Each coaster has become an unique work of art in it's own right.
We would like to personally thank Hrothgar for his enthusiasm and patience with this project. His skill in turning the raw leather into a superb end product is something to behold. A real traditional craftsman, using his hands and basic tools to create the very highest quality end products.
We would also like to thank Thomas Ware & Sons Ltd. for their expert advice and in depth knowledge of the leather and for showing us around the tannery and allowing us to take photos. It is an amazing place to see if you ever get the chance.
Given time, each hand crafted leather coaster will develop an individual character and personality. As it ages it will develop a unique natural patina that will tell a story of it's own.
Like all good things it will take time to develop.