Fellow sketcher and frequent workshop student Zé Resende has many talents. Working with leather is one that she acquired while on the Riga 2019 Winter Sketching School, in a workshop by Liene Ligere. When she started posting her excellent designs, I knew I had to have one! She made mine according to precise measurements and functionality indications and combined them into a sleek look and feel that feels natural to wear.
The design is a simple combination of two strips of leather, stitched into a vertical pouch, fitting around 7 to 8 art tools – pens, pencils, brushes, water spray – deep enough to hold them in place, but shallow enough to access all tools in an instant. The largest strip folds over the top of the tool pouch, covering the tools, and locks in place, sliding into a small band, attached to the pouch by two small bronze rivets. There’s two smaller pouches – one in the front, for paper tissues, and one in the back, for business cards. Two clips hang out from the top corners, where the main leather strip folds, to hang the pouch from the waist belt loops. The touch of luxury: Zé stamped my initials to the cover!
The handiwork is precise and robust, and it performs very well. Takes away the issues about carrying around your art stuff. It’s always accessible, and at height of the hand, just like a wild west revolver holster. With it on my waist, I feel like I can draw faster (pun intended!) than anyone else west of the Tejo! This clipping method allows for crouching or sitting without flipping the pouch, and potentially spilling all the sketching tools on the ground.
This is the work of a proper artisan! It’s a well crafted, stylish item that compels you to cherish it throughout a lifetime. It suits all kinds of occasions – I use it for my work in the Wedding Sketchers, but also for informal sketch meetings and travels. Its sensorial appeal – the looks, the color, the texture, even the faint smell of the locally bought Moroccan leather – as well as its usefulness, have the potential of turning this noble leather pouch into a lifelong artist’s tool and companion.