I have a unique appreciation for the art of leatherworking. I find there to be something very zen about the juxtapositioning of a detail-oriented craft that requires patience and restraint with the physical rigor of an upper-body workout. Like with most bespoke goods, there’s also kind of personality to each thing that you create; a sort of energy in it from the person who made it. Not to mention, it’s a more lucrative hobby than playing video games.
As a new dad, most of my “free time” is dedicated to watching cartoons, cleaning up messes, and making noodles, so I don’t always have as much time to invest in my extracurricular activities as I once did. Fortunately, I’ve found a few ways to incorporate the kid into some of the projects, which not only gives me the opportunity to teach her a skill while practicing it myself… it also allows me to justify buying new tools!
The first project I included her in was some basic stamping of letters. Pretty simple, although a kid flailing a small mallet requires some fairly intense supervision. We started by just letting her stamp different letters into a piece of scrap leather and letting her tell me what letter she stamped. She really enjoyed this because it was always a surprise when she lifted the stamp and she found excitement in being able to identify the letter, but also she felt like she was making something. (Mommy did a great job of feigning excitement for each and every battered scrap of leather she received as a gift.)
I had always intended on making her a bracelet of sorts with all of the tiny letters stamped on it so that she could practice identifying them (in the car, at the grocery store, etc.), however she really picked up on them pretty quickly. I think it has more to do with the fact that she’s just a sharp kid than anything I may have done, but I like to believe that every little bit helps!