Way back.

This bag was the first bit of real design work that I did. For a few years I had been thinking about the next backpack that I was going to buy. I knew from years of traveling my way around that the majority of bags that I saw out there didn’t have the features that I wanted. If they did they also had tons of other features that I would never use. Staps, loops, zippers and buckles everywhere. I spent a lot of time thinking about all of the important features to me so I would be prepared when the time came to buy a new one. As time went on I started playing around with leather, the seemingly far off fantasy of making a bag for myself, began to seem more and more like a possibility and less like a pipe dream. I began to sketch what I thought would be the perfect travel bag. There were no dimensions on the sketch. I didn’t have any real idea how to change the sketch of my perfect backpack into a build design. No idea what would need to be done to transfer that image into the pieces of cut leather that I could stitch into a backpack. Actually at that point I had still never learned to hand stitch leather. I had only laced up the small number of things I had made before that.
The sketch set idle in my note book for months before the time came to make my bag. In the days leading up to actually buying the leather, my mind struggled to vision my backpack in two dimensional form, but it wasn’t until I actually had the leather sprawled out in front of me that it clicked in my mind and I was able to understand what it was that I needed to do.
I made a lot of mistakes in the design of this bag and I have changed many of the details. But many of the ideas and design points have stayed the same.
This bag has been with me hitch hiking in places like Mozambique and Zimbabwe, Belgium, Germany and France. It has seen ten straight days of Newfoundland rain, wetland and hidden away impromptu camp sites. Baggage handlers from Africa, Europe, North and South America have all had their crack at tossing it around, yet still it holds strong.
This is why we choose leather, it wears it’s experiences on it back and tells you what it’s been through. It’s blemishes only make it more beautiful not the contrary. There seems to be a reward in having an item that can stay with you for years, dynamic like us, and needing the occasional bit of upkeep, like us.

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