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QLD Project Manager, family man, and self-proclaimed Coffee Snob, Stuart, found himself in search of a new hobby amidst the COVID 19 lockdowns that prevented him from pursuing his usual passion for photography. What he found was leatherwork, and it has quickly evolved from a hobby to a side-line business:

28 January 2022

Designer Spotlight: Schofield Leatherworx

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Project Manager & family man with a new-found passion for leatherwork, Stuart: ‘I want to produce a product that I know the origins of and can attest to the quality of the materials used’

Hi, I'm Stuart and I am the solo creator at Schofield Leatherworx, a small hobbyist leather workshop set up in the garage of my home in Caboolture.

A collection of Schofield Leatherworx minimalist card wallets in Earthy tones

I am many things - a husband and father, a project manager, a photographer, a coffee snob... and now a leatherworker. Not sure where I find the time some days.

QLD Project Manager, family man, and self-proclaimed Coffee Snob, Stuart, found himself in search of a new hobby amidst the COVID 19 lockdowns that prevented him from pursuing his usual passion for photography. What he found was leatherwork, and it has quickly evolved from a hobby to a side-line business:

I've been creating and destroying leather goods since the beginning of the covid lockdowns. My creative passion has always been photography and when covid hit and we couldn't venture out, I had to find a new hobby that I could do at home, at any time.

A hand-written ‘Dad’s Leather Studio’ sign sits proudly in Stuart’s home workshop; ‘I had to find a new hobby that I could do at home, at any time’

My leatherwork has evolved rapidly during this time and has become focused on minimalist wallets using high-quality Australian-sourced leathers.

Stuart at work in his home studio, wearing a self-made leather apron and hand-cutting a piece of hide for one of his minimalist wallet designs

When I initially started out , I only wanted to make a few leather straps for my vintage camera collection. That led to making items for myself such as card wallets and keyrings, before making gifts for family and friends.

Stuart using a rubber mallet and small metal tool to punch holes around the edge of the hide ready for stitching

The feedback I received gave me the confidence to branch out and begin selling my creations at markets and online and I have been selling on Madeit since June 2021. I chose Madeit because quite simply I want to support locally made.

Stuart modelling one of his beautifully crafted leather aprons; ‘Each piece is usually born out of necessity’

Each piece is usually born out of necessity; I am excited by having a project with the challenge of creating a useful item that is fit for purpose and will last.

Using a wooden tool to shape the stitched edges of leather: ‘My style is a cumulation of my early learnings’

I start with the items that need to be protected and stored, and begin to arrange them in a way that works efficiently in both space and design.

A place for everything in Stuart’s leather journal cover / travel wallet

Initially my inspiration was fed from Youtube and Instagram, where I follow many leather crafters from around the world. I have learnt a lot from the school of Youtube and my style is a culmination of my early learnings. I favour minimalist design and am not one for flashy colours.

Rolls of leather mounted on a peg-board wall, a clean work bench with toolboxes and hardwear organizers; there is a place for everything in Stuart’s leather studio, just as there is in each leather wallet he creates

I begin by sketching prototypes and forming the concept on paper, before detailing the designs in CAD for problem-solving and template accuracy. Templates are first cut by hand, and once the design is finalised I will cut accurately using a Cricut.

Stuart makes up a design in paper, then scrap leather, before turning to the final product

A concept is made up with paper at first - to check sizing and how the piece generally fits together. I will typically then make a trial piece using scrap leather to see what can be fine tuned and what details can be resolved, before making the final piece out of good hide.

A leather wallet in a wooden vice as Stuart hand-stitches the pieces of hide together.

I only want to sell what I would be happy to buy myself and when deciding on my purchases, the origin and the material quality is the biggest factor.

Detailed view of a completed leather wallet highlights the precision and quality craftsmanship in each of Stuart’s creations.

I respect well made quality goods whether it be mass produced or single one off creations. I want to produce a product that I know the origins of and can attest to the quality of the materials used.

Stuart is offering Madeit’s community newsletter subscribers free postage within Australia at Schofield Leatherworx for a limited time. Subscribe below to get the coupon, plus weekly handmade shopping guides, designer spotlight stories and discounts:



Visit Schofield Leatherworx to find functional leather pieces of outstanding quality: SchofieldLeatherworx

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