This week's artist is a fellow leatherworker. Come and meet Gill from England!
Briefly describe what you make?
I make retro style suede and leather belts.
What mediums do you enjoy working in most?
Leather would be my material of choice. It’s available in a whole range of finishes and colours and some of the textures are amazing. I adore suede too – it is so tactile.
How long have you been creating craft?
I’ve been crafting since a child and always had a real flair for art at school. My Grandma taught me to knit when I was 8 and I still pick up the pins thirty-something years on! I’ve tried my hand at most crafts but the one that I have never been able to master is sewing – I would love to learn how.
How did you get started?
Making and selling belts happened by pure chance. I found a book of suede swatches and remembered being given a belt way back in the early 70’s made from different coloured suede, so I set to and made one for myself. I wore it to work and was amazed (and delighted) at all the compliments. I left work that day with 4 orders! And I continued to get lots of requests, including one from my mum who’s in her sixties! I found a good local supplier and bought in a range of suede and leather and built up a stock. I did my first fair in July 2007 and have a regular stall at a city centre arts and crafts fair here in Leeds city centre.
Where does the name of your shop come from?
A clever play on words and I have to give full credit for my shop name to my partner John. I had my first craft fair looming and needed a name as I wanted to create professional signs and tags. I had been racking my brain for days and mentioned it to John. Within 5 minutes he’d come up with ‘Easily Suede’ – I love it and get lots of positive comments from customers.
What would you most want people to know about your work?
That’ I thoroughly enjoy making every belts and that each link is cut by hand – not by machine as some people think. And I have the hard skin and blisters to prove it!!
What words of advice do you have for other artists?
Show off! Blow your own trumpet! If I’d just accepted the compliments at work without saying I’d made the belt, none of this would ever have happened and I’m loving every minute of it! I don’t think I’ll ever make a living from it but I’m broadening my range and playing with different designs and enjoying ever minute of it.
Come and look at Gill's suede and lether belts at her Etsy Shop.
While you are at Etsy come and see us and all of the new things that we have been adding to our shop! And don't forget - buy handmade for the holidays. Give a gift that is truly different!