This morning I finished the person at work assignment, again focusing on traditional hand crafts, a Sadler. Today she was focusing on some hand stitching of leather for a bridle, using tools that once belonged to the royal sadle maker. To start with I wasn't sure what I was going to get, I have not grown up in an environment where the use of horses is everyday, I know many who own or ride horses but that knowledge is not instinctive to me. The workshop is a good size, similar in size to the forge of the farriers that I photographed a couple of weeks ago. It houses two work benches equipped with selections of threads, knives, braddles, hammers and a pot of die sitting on top of the small stove.
We talk through the process explaining the use of the tools and the fact that they are no longer made (Dixons Tools going out of business as the leading producer) while BBC One plays in the background; Saturday Morning Kitchen. Perhaps the most unusual tool in use is a type of wooden vice called a 'Clam', shaped like a giant pair of tweezers where one end sits on the floor between the feet, the other holds the leather tight allowing both hands free to hand stitch the leather into a loop around the buckle. This I would imagine would be how handmade belts are stitched too.
I will be returning at some point in the future, her brother has a pottery workshop next door, his work is stunning and is more than happy to be a part of the BHP