HELLO, I'M KATY

I am the sole maker and designer of this small leather business, which began in 2016.

 

I work from a small workshop deep on the moors of the Dartmoor National Park in Devon. Using traditional tools and techniques from days of old, I work hard to design and craft items that are simple and traditional, robust yet practical.

 

Leather has a beautiful character, with each hide being different from the last. I celebrate the many marks, scars and colourations, which make each piece completely unique. The leather will age over time, darkening and softening with use and touch, adapting and moulding to its user's needs, this leather will grow old with you.

 

Leather has always held a large place in my heart, from my humble beginnings as a professional equine groom and eventer, leather has been there in every part of my life; from saddles and bridles to bags and belts, good stomping boots to take me through festivals fields and moorland doggy walking adventures.

 

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MATERIALS

LEATHER

One of the oldest materials used by humans. Leather has a character that is beautiful and organic, with an earthy elegance but still being strong and hardwearing. 

 

Leather takes me back to a time of old, a time where things were built to last and withstand a lifetime of work - in an age of the throwaway society, where we can acquire many things now made by machine, which will most likely break within a short period of use, leather is one material that just keeps giving, is repairable and will grow old with you.

 

Everything about leather is a slow process, from the growth of the animal to the 14 or so months it takes to tan a hide, the design process to the final making of the item. If looked after well a leather item, be it a belt or a bag will last you a lifetime of use, and most likely will be handed down to generations to come. 

 

Tanned using tree bark; this technique is known as vegetable tanning and is gentle and kind to the environment and the hide. Vegetable tanning has been a method used to make leather for thousands of years. Each hide is unique and different from the last, having gained the characteristics of the animal it once was. It has exceptional qualities and retains the hide’s natural aesthetics like growth lines, grains, marks and scars. Vegetable tanned leathers absorb the traces of our life, maturing and ageing with a personal expression of naturalness and truth. Over time this leather will give a beautiful patina and an unmistakable warm shade that becomes more intense with the passing of time and daily use.

THE TANNERY
J & F J BAKER

Britain's only remaining traditional oak bark tannery, based in Devon.  The tannery is believed to date back to Roman times and today its local craftsmen install the same techniques that have been passed down through generations.  The hides are from the West Country; mainly Devon so there is minimal transport from cow to leather. I love working with this leather, not only because it looks and smells wonderful, but also because it uses local resources and natural processes to create a beautiful, strong leather. I am extremely lucky to have this tannery on my doorstep in Devon.

 

The colour range available is London Tan, Dark Oak and Australian Nut

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HARDWARE

The Buckles and other hardware such as copper saddler’s rivets and tubular rivets come from a small family run business forge in Walsall, UK. Some of the buckles I use in my belt making have been designed by me and forged here.

Hardware

925 STERLING SILVER BUCKLES

Made by the Cornish Silversmith Aisha Jane Rowe in a small workshop near St Just in Cornwall. These buckles are individually handcrafted meaning no two buckles are ever the same. Each buckle is stamped with Aisha’s unique silversmith marker mark and is then sent away for the Assayers hallmark to prove the silvers purity. 

Available in 1”, 1 ¼” and 1 ½”, with either a single, double or triple prong. Semi precious stones can be set into the buckle for a more unique and individual appearance.

A bespoke solid sterling 925 silver belt buckle to compliment your J&FJ Baker leather belt strap. 

Sterling Silver Belt Buckles