The Masters of Leather Tooling

THE MASTERS OF LEATHER TOOLING

Of all the applications for leather, leather tooling may be the most time consuming and beautiful. Talented crafters from across the globe can be found creating amazing and unique pieces.

We are pleased to share our list of the top leather toolers in the world!

Discover Amazing Leather Tooling from Around the World

By: Benjamin Carver / Founder, Stonestreet Leather
Published: July 2, 2019

Leathercraft is one of the oldest forms of human expression. For over 33 centuries, humans have used leather as a medium to record important information, events, and as a vehicle of expression. The products of leather tooling used to be a pursuit limited to the very wealthy and powerful, but over time this artform made it’s way to the rest of society. 

What was once used for sharing vital information, has now been transformed into a creative outlet. Today, people from all over the world are taking part in this ancient art and crafting some truly amazing works.

We are consistently in awe of the craftsmen and women from all over the world that we see online, displaying their latest creations. It felt fitting to create a showcase of some of the most skilled crafters we could find. Like any type of craft, there are unlimited possibilities and we are pleased to highlight the wide variety of applications for leather tooling. From traditional and functional to colorful and whimsical, there are clearly lots of extremely talented leather crafters plying their trade today.

We’re pleased to see this ancient art is still going strong!

We have painstakingly researched those who are active in the leather tooling community and chronicled their work in this new, annual list of the Masters of Leather Tooling. While the tools and methods vary greatly, the designers on display all show an amazing amount of imagination, technical sophistication and attention to detail.

You’ll find all sorts of leather engraving below, using a wide array of tools including the swivel knife, beveler, pear shaders, veiner, seeder, lasers, and mallets.

We hope you find this collection as exciting as we have and take the opportunity to connect and support fellow leather crafters from all over the world.

If there are other talented leather craftsmen and women that we didn’t mention but deserve to be showcased – we want to hear about it! Contact us and share your work, we would love to see it!

– The Stonestreet Leather Team

 

3p Custom Leather

Antonio Pecina of 3P Custom Leather has some seriously cool engraved leather designs. His designs are influenced by the elements popular in Texas including guns horses, cattle and cooking. What we liked with Antonio’s work is the rustic nature and simplicity. The item featured is a great example of his work, which shows a longhorn skull and cactus – not too much or too little. Keep up the great work Antonio!

76 and Riveted Leather Co.

Ashley Radz is a leather artist with an amazing collection of purses and other handcrafted items. Ashley’s designs all come from her own inspiration and are deeply rooted in natural settings, particularly animals. Although there are a number of great pieces to choose from, we were inspired by the color scheme seen on this handbag.

8Tres Leatherworks

Mario Prz of 8Tres Leatherworks is a Madrid-based leathercrafter. Inspired by his love of motorcycles, many of his pieces are either influenced by the biker-aesthetic or are made for motorcyclists, like this dramatic eagle bike seat cover. We love seeing leather crafters from all over the world to showcase their designs, we would love to hear about where he draws his inspiration from. 

Adam Croft Leather

Adam Croft’s incredible leather goods are inspired by his love of old motorcycles, and in fact, his leatherworking business, Adam Croft Leather, goes hand in hand with his other business, restoring motorcycles at Vintage American Cycles. Check out the incredible detail on this hand-tooled seat cover.

Alden School of Leather Trades

Alden’s School of Leather Trades founded by Tim Alden is located in Burns, Oregon and is dedicated to creating the next generation of leather craftsman. We’re sure Tim has a wide variety of stunning engravings, but we wanted to showcase one of their most recent, this amazing custom saddle. If you are interested in upping your skills in the leather game – this is the place to do it!

American Made Upgrades

Oregon-based American Made Upgrades offers a variety of leather goods, from patches to guitar pickguards to sheaths. Their shop can do custom pieces, geometric carvings, beautiful floral designs, and everything in between, but it was this Chewbacca wallet in progress that caught our eye.

caught our eye.

Archetype Leather

Archetype Leather is a handcrafted leather maker out of Chicago, Illinois. Archetype has an awesome collection of bags, belts, and more. Many of his works cater to the motorcycle crowd and they are awesome! It’s no secret that we love intricate, audacious designs and the one we’ve highlighted certainly fits the bill. The design has a lot of elements going on with birds, flowers and more – altogether it looks like it will be an amazing piece for a happy customer. We’d love to see the final product!

Caleb Hilton Custom Leather

Caleb Hilton specializes in making custom leather products. Caleb caught our eye on two fronts, the intricacy of his designs and the vivid colors he’s added to make the designs super unique and exciting. Check out some of these amazing shoe designs like his take on the Converse All Star – a classic with a new twist!

Cary Schwarz Custom Saddlery

Cary Schwarz designs beautiful saddles. As his profile notes, the designs are a nice balance of function and art. With a beautiful backdrop in his workshop, you can picture one of these amazingly crafted saddles out on the ranch.

Chami’s Leather Works

Proving that amazing leather engraving can come from across the world, Chami’s Leather Works in Japan has an excellent collection of wallets, badges, straps and more. Chami’s uses a mix of regular and color finishes across their collection of item handmade leather items. What caught our eye was the vintage styling used for the various military-themed items. Great work, Chami!

CHÄRÅTÊ Designs

CHÄRÅTÊ Designs utilize a variety of leatherworking methods in the creation of their unique, handmade crafts. We love the colors and intricate design on this piece!

Dibazar Leather

The dramatic colors of dibazar leather’s work jumped out at us immediately! In addition to leather engraving, the majority of their pieces are vibrantly dyed one or more colors. How about this beautiful multicolored mandala purse?

Dracolite Medieval Store

Dracolite Medieval Store has a reputation as the “largest and most complete brick and mortar medieval store anywhere,” and with all the cool stuff they sell, we can believe it! Among their varied product offerings are cool medieval-inspired leathergoods like this custom scabbard, leather masks, and much more.

Drew’s Custom Leather Co.

Drew Yeo, a leather crafter from Arizona, is especially known for his hand-tooled wallets, although his custom designs also include belts, bags, and more. We love this wallet featuring a skull, a common theme in his work.

Endless Designs

Working with both wood and leather, Endless Designs creates excellent custom gifts for any occasion. Check out their customized products engraved with family names if you’re looking for a wedding present, or take a look at their cute home accessories for a great gift for any occasion. This leather coffee cup sleeve made us laugh – they get it!

Fitzgerald Leather

Patrick of Fitzgerald Leather specializes in clean, functional designs that employ leather dying, hand-stitching, and leather carving. The design here is going to become a charm for a purse. We love the fine detail on the lines as well as the unexpected blue sewing. It’s a very nice contrast and will make someone a very happy customer!

Forj’d Leather

Forj’d Leather creates a variety of handmade, custom leather goods to suit their customer’s needs. They specialize in patriotic and military-themed goods, as you can see here with this Don’t Tread On Me wallet.

Foxes and Ravens

Nora, the brains and hands behind Foxes and Ravens, creates beautiful leather goods with a medieval or Viking influence. Check out the detail on this custom tooled corset, and don’t miss the rest of her shop with items like her signature soft leather booties and custom ax sheaths.

Freedom Warrior Designs

Kelly Freedom of Freedom Warrior Designs hopes to inspire a sense of freedom and creativity with her handmade leather goods. Viewing her designs which clearly draw inspiration from nature, we feel freer already! These boho, hippie-chic earrings are some of our favorites.

Frontier Girl Leathercraft

Ashly Howard of Frontier Girl Leathercraft has an amazing story to go along with her incredible art: she took up leatherwork as a hobby to help her adjust to a new way of living after being diagnosed with a form of lupus. She often works with the natural shape of the leather, as seen in this key valet/coin dish. Keep up the great work and best of luck in your fight!

GrandEngrave 

Grand Engrave, based in Australia delivers an eye-catching collection of custom engraved products across a variety of mediums including leather, wood, and more. What caught our eye here (besides all the awesome dog pics!) was the variety of applications that they are using engraving for. We picked out our favorite leather engraving piece, which showcases a family of elephants. It’s subtle, well-worked and certainly made an elephant-lover quite happy!

Holston Leather Supply Co

The work of Bailey Dickenson, a leather artist out of Church Hill, Tennessee, stands out due to the fun pops of color on many of the pieces. These vintage logo wallets are some of our favorites – and be sure to check out Holston Leather Supply’s Instagram for cute pics of shop dog, Mattie!

Hutt Armouries

Bill Hutt of Hutt Armouries is an excellent crafter who is all about displaying weaponry in stunning fashion. We keyed-in on one of his amazing revolver holsters with a rich colored-finish. It looks like Hutt is getting into some of his first ever real armor designs for cosplay, which is exciting. Keep up the great work, Bill!

Ismail Am Leather

Ismail Fahmi’s creations for Ismail Am Leather are influenced by a variety of elements, from traditional art in his native Indonesia to the band Iron Maiden. The one really special thing about his Instagram is that he shows a lot of work-in-progress pieces, so you get a true behind the scenes look at leather engraving. Check out the progression of this embossed wallet.

Jacobs Engraving

Jacob’s Engraving offers a wide variety of leather goods. They work mainly with laser engraving on leather, wood, and silver, and they specialize in designs that include text. One of their unique offerings is the ability to laser engrave a photograph onto leather, as seen in this cool leather keychain.

Laser Cut Co.

As their profile explains, the folks at Houston, Texas-based Laser Cut Co. create custom goods for small businesses, special events, and creatives. Their team of makers can work with you to figure out how to make your event special or make your branded goods pop. Check out this awesome leather apron they designed for a local Western store.

Lazy Cat Leather

Louise Churchhouse creates elegant handmade leather crafts as a side gig from her home in the UK. We love this well-detailed image of a winding tree and think it will be a stunning piece. Always don’t forget to check out her sleek, sophisticated notebooks and travel journals stand out from the crowd.

Leather Crafts By Eleana

At Eleana Antonopoulou’s Leather Crafts By Eleana, the artist uses a variety of mediums including pyrography to decorate leather before sewing into purses, wallets, journal covers, and more. We especially like her anime and comic-inspired pieces, but it was the map-centric design that made the cut! Take a look at the fine detail on the compass, all the elements work really nicely here and make it an excellent piece. 

Leather Patches Leatherworks

Tinneal is the founder and artisan behind Leather Patches Leatherworks from Winnipeg, Canada. Many of her pieces- including this bumble bee belt buckle- incorporate both leather tooling and painting and feature elements from nature.

Lee Elmer’s

Cason at Lee Elmer’s makes clean, beautiful handmade custom leather goods. You’ll see his work influenced by different elements in Texas and beyond including some college-specific designs. We really enjoyed the Boy Scouts themed knife sheath, a retro design brought back to life by Lee Elmer’s. 

Lofty Leather Co.

Lofty Leather Co. out of Sheffield, Alabama is a Christian leathercrafter. Many of their designs feature Bible verses or other uplifting messages. Among Lofty Leather’s wide variety of items, this leather guitar pick guard with a floral design stood out to us. The way the tone of the leather matches the wood of the guitar is really lovely.

LuLu Leatherworks

Shin, the Japanese leather crafter behind LuLu Leatherworks, is another artist whose intricate detail just blows us away. Check out the incredible linework on this work in progress leather carving, and head over to her Instagram page to see the step-by-step progression of this piece.

Lunar Leather

Lunar Leather, a leather and wood crafting operation out of Florida, caught our eye with their trendy leather bracelets and phone cases, engraved with Instagram-ready mantras like “be kind” and “good vibes.”  We chose these cool pieces because they are reflective of the brand’s name, Lunar Leather. The stars incorporated with the other elements make these simple pieces stand out. Check them out for great gifts for your gal pals!

Made by Hndz

Made by Hndz is a Russian leathercrafter’s shop, featuring functional, classic designs. We love the bold, simple pattern on this keyfob. Check them out for more styles plus leather wallets, cuffs, and more.

Misfit Skinny Kustoms

Freddie Sheppard of Misfit Skinny Kustoms is not only an expert leathercrafter, but also he’s skilled with metal engraving, painting, and custom motorcycle work. He draws on all of these skills in his leather work and often takes on custom projects that combine his interests. We were absolutely blown away by this custom bench seat Freddie hand-tooled for a vintage car.

Mitra Leather Engraving

Mitra Ebrahimi of Mitra Leather Engraving is known for her intricately detailed floral designs. Carrying purses, sheaths, and watch straps as well as custom projects, this leathercrafter can do it all. The leather bag seen here is incredible- the carving is multi-dimensional with different layers of flowers exploding from the center. 

MNLeatherShop

Nikolai Dimitrov creates a wide variety of handmade leather goods, from jewelry to sheaths to motorcycle accessories. Check out the delicate pair of leather feather earrings featuring pearl and turquoise beads, it’s one of our favorites we’ve seen. For the item featured, we love the simplicity and deep lines. 

Moaalii Leather

Rex G of Moaalii Leather is a leather crafter known for his use of bright colors and excellent craftmanship. His Buffalo Bill leather post made us giggle, but it was his use of color that earned him on a spot on the list. Great work, Rex!

Nora Leather

Nora Leather is a talented engraver and crafter. Her collection features a number of amazing bags and purse designs with flower-centric engraving. The item we really loved was an engraved bag with red dye and sunflowers. All of Nora’s designs are vibrant and colorful and we can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

Petrus Leather Garage

Petrus Leather Garage is located in Buenos Aires, Argentina and dishes up some righteous motorcycle-themed designs. It’s pretty amazing seeing some of these engravers from across the world making designs that you think came from around the corner in the U.S. We chose the Virgin de Guadalupe to be highlighted because of the contrast of the dark leather and vibrant colors. It’s a great piece that just works.

Progress Leathercraft

When it comes to Progress Leathercraft’s goods, the cut-outs and stunning leather to fabric contrasts are one of the first things that caught our eye! This Japanese artisan is also notable for their use of metal accents on their products, which makes sense because they also create some metal jewelry in addition to leather goods.

Project Kandi

Project Kandi draws inspiration from video games and their sources: tales of Vikings, pirates, and more. A relative newcomer to the leatherworking world, they are already displaying big talent! We loved this custom purse, get your own custom piece today!

Psybabas Bohemia

Psybabas Bohemia’s leather crafts have a boho, hippie flare that stands out from the crowd. With a variety of products from beautiful shoes and sandals to jewelry, bags, and even hats, they have something for everyone. The detail of this leather cowboy hat is just stunning.

Punctured Artefact

The artist behind Punctured Artefact creates tattoo art as well as leathercrafts, and that influence really comes through in their work. They blend geometric and organic elements for a super unique product. How about this stool seat cover featuring a type of beetle native to Sweden?

Red Lab Leather

Red Lab Leather specializes in just a few products: wallets, keychains, and eyeglass cases. Due to this specialization, their leather products truly show expert craftsmanship.

RyDo

Rytis Rydo of Rydo is a leather artisan known especially for his classic, handcrafted bags. From briefcases to backpacks to handbags, his pieces are both durable and incredibly beautiful.

Shadywood Leather

Shadywood Leather in Spokane, Washington is newer player on the engraving scene, but we think big things are headed their way! Shadywood has a variety of custom products including keychains, belts, collars, and passport holders. The items we’ve highlighted showcase some of their custom work, taking pictures of a number of family birds and bringing them to life as keychains. A cool way to keep your winged friends with you at all times!

Slickbald Customs

Chris Slickbald Andrew is a professional artist and maker. Chris has an amazing collection of western-influenced gun holders, boot toppers and more. It was a close contest between this complete holster and ammo kit and his signature hat cover!

Taylor Made Leather

There are so many great ways to put your individual style into leathercraft and this family crest from Taylor Made Leather really stood out. Based in Arizona, Taylor Made appears to develop a lot of customs for their clients, bringing their ideas to life. On their website, you’ll find binders, bible covers and more.

Wasteland Oddities

Danny Smash and The Odd Mob are behind Wasteland Oddities, who have some of the most interesting and fun leather items we’ve seen. It was the pocket sheaths that stood out among their collection of items. Check out some of the comic and horror genre inspired sheaths, very spooky and cool!

Winchester Leather Co.

Winchester Leather Co. has a message along with their beautiful leather goods- they work to educate their customers about the power of small business and local craftsmen in this day and age of bulk purchasing and one-click orders. We love that – and we love this pair of custom kicks!

Oksana Kruglova

Oksana Kruglova’s ornate leather carvings are so detailed, they look like drawings – color and all. In her shop, you’ll not only find extremely lifelike representations of wild animals but also wallets and more embossed with your favorite Game of Thrones characters.

Craig Montgomery

Craig Montgomery can fit an amazing amount of detail into tight spaces, and that’s something we really admire! Come to his account for the gorgeous floral key fobs and coasters, like the ones seen here, and stay for a little bit of education on fine cigars, bourbon, and craft beer.

 Pursuit of West

Montana native Joe Weyant’s designs for Pursuit of West draw their inspiration from the western United States and are made for life on the ranch. These hand-tooled spur straps with metal accents are something special!