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Hi all, 

Here is an order just finished for a gypsy themed tooled belt.

The brief for this was scrollwork patterns with some animals incorporated somehow and initials tooled in. The design I went for ended up being a repeating scrollwork section based off a painted vardo wagon exterior, broken up by three framed figures of a horse, goldfinch, and game chicken. Colours were chosen by the client. 

This is 3.5mm veg tan with a 1-1.5mm liner, which I find makes for a nice sturdy belt without being too chunky for everyday wear. Stitching is by hand and the buckle and keeper are held in place with chicago screws so removeable/interchangeable if needed. 

Thanks for looking and I hope you like it!

Alex

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Wow, that is amazing! Great job!

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Wow that's impressive!!  You've got that bar seeder fine tuned

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Super nice!

Scootch

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Not usually a fan of scrollwork but perfect for an application like this and beautifully done but surely you would only do something like this for a friend because I can't see you getting back the time you put in but then again, I'm getting old and £20 is still a lot of money. Well done.

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Thats beautiful! The bird and animal heads are a nice design surprise. 

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thats over the top! i like the way you did the buckle end.

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Fantastic work, as always I really dig the color combos you do.

YinTx

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Thanks all! Glad you like it :) 

13 hours ago, toxo said:

surely you would only do something like this for a friend because I can't see you getting back the time you put in but then again, I'm getting old and £20 is still a lot of money. Well done.

Cheers! This was not for someone I knew, and while I have made enough belts to have a reasonable idea of how much work is involved for price quotes, I always manage to underestimate how long it takes to design and sketch out tooling patterns. In this case I was not happy with my initial design and decided to start over, so several unchargeable hours from the offset. It is always a tricky balance I find as on the one hand it is easy to set a nice hourly rate, but there are definite established price brackets for this sort of product and at the end of the day I can't charge extra for being slow and getting things wrong. But with experience I will hopefully get better at this!

Alex

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Really impressed with your results. Scrolling, animals and colours all came out great.

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7 hours ago, AlexOstacchini said:

Thanks all! Glad you like it :) 

Cheers! This was not for someone I knew, and while I have made enough belts to have a reasonable idea of how much work is involved for price quotes, I always manage to underestimate how long it takes to design and sketch out tooling patterns. In this case I was not happy with my initial design and decided to start over, so several unchargeable hours from the offset. It is always a tricky balance I find as on the one hand it is easy to set a nice hourly rate, but there are definite established price brackets for this sort of product and at the end of the day I can't charge extra for being slow and getting things wrong. But with experience I will hopefully get better at this!

Alex

There's a certain amount of love and/or pride that goes into crafting of any kind and when it comes to selling it does get tricky. It always amuses me when a crafter takes a day to make a greeting card and complains when they can't get £10 for it knowing full well that the shop in the high street is selling the same thing for £0.85p.

There is light at the end of the tunnel for true artisans like yourself. The amount of "A" list customers for whom money is not a consideration is growing and they want quality over everything else. The problem is reaching them before there's nothing left in the cupboard.

Not being in your league I can only imagine how you go about that. Maybe plug away and increase prices gradually or go big and pay the price for adverting where the A listers will see it. Of course the cost of said adverts will be built into your price.

Whichever route you choose I wish you all the luck in the world.

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Beautiful belt!

 

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Totally amazing work.  Just stunning!  I must agree with @chuck123wapati , a very unique end to the buckle.  very nice.

Question: why is it called a 'gypsy theme' belt?  

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Thanks again all!

On 5/31/2021 at 6:34 AM, toxo said:

There is light at the end of the tunnel for true artisans like yourself. The amount of "A" list customers for whom money is not a consideration is growing and they want quality over everything else. The problem is reaching them before there's nothing left in the cupboard.

Cheers! I am lucky enough to have a full time job in film, often as a leatherworker, so independent stuff like this is for evenings and weekends and thankfully I am not relying on it as my sole income! But it is nice to think that it could grow into something more further down the line. 

 

5 hours ago, JayEhl said:

Question: why is it called a 'gypsy theme' belt?  

The brief for this project was include lots of gypsy imagery,- The scrollwork pattern, while virtually identical in style to Western stuff (but more scrolls, less flowers), was taken from a painted design on a vardo wagon, and the framed animal heads all have links as well. 

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1 hour ago, AlexOstacchini said:

But it is nice to think that it could grow into something more further down the line. 

Yes, you have some really great work that you should have no trouble pursuing.  Mine is still in a hobby phase but I dream about doing the kind of work you're doing at least as some sort of side income for when I retire.   I've got about 5 or so years left for me to practice so I need to get busy!!  

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Very nice and clean carving. Your background is very nice. I really like your work. What kind of dye and Antique do you use ? 

Jesse

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Beautiful work!  I love the color combination.  Your tooling is very nice.

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Many Thanks

On 6/30/2021 at 5:03 PM, WyattEarp said:

What kind of dye and Antique do you use ?

Fiebings dyes for this. I pretty much always dilute them now with a little IPA which I find helps give an even coat. The border for this is mahogany, and the background is pro black, which is much much much better than the standard black. The tooled elements are just neetsfoot oil and the antique is fiebings dark brown with tan kote as the resist.

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