I like making things. Always have. Every childhood birthday and Christmas all I ever wanted was more legos and art supplies.
Every day I would draw and I would build. Always wanting to see what I could do today that I couldn't have done the day before.
As an adult, I haven't changed much.
Since I started Wizened Oak Leather five years ago, I have had the tremendous privilege of spending my days creating unique and beautiful objects for people all over the world, always striving to make each new piece better than the last.
To me, there are precious few things more satisfying than making something where once there was nothing. Holding it in my hands, seeing that it is good, and shipping it off to its new home.
I started working with leather quite by accident. I was a last minute hire at Gerber Boy Scout Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan. The Arts director quit just before the start of season and I was asked to take his place.
The class schedules were already drawn up for me and I was slotted to teach the leatherworking merit badge, which I knew precisely nothing about.
The camp had a few old books on the subject and plenty of scrap leather for me to toy with. I spent a weekend getting familiar with it all and the following Monday I started teaching three classes of 24 scouts how to make their first belt.
They weren't all pretty but they all could hold up a pair of pants.
After the panic of those first few weeks wore off, I quickly fell in love with the art form.
I bumbled through my first summer, and then my second and third. Year four I started to feel like I knew what I was doing, but then it was time to ship of to college.