Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Luther's Legacy

About a month ago I received an email from a woman by the name Danni. She wanted to know if I could make her a custom key ring similar to the ones she had seen in our Etsy shop. She was having it made for her husband in memory of his beloved pet and recently deceased dog, Luther. I was touched by this and agreed. Her request was not a unique one, as I have made many of them before but this was to be my first as a keepsake in memory of a dog.

These are samples of our personalized, handstamped keychains
from our shop As I read further on, I realized that she wanted me to make two personalized key chains out of an existing dog collar that was previously worn by Luther. I had no idea at the time what the collar looked like nor if I could emboss it with the dogs name on it. You see, the leather was finished and worn for some time. Danni left the desicion up to me, regardless. But as I am sure other leather workers will attest - once leather has been dyed and finished with a protective coat it is unlikely that other impressions stamped into the leather will be able to leave permanently embossed markings.
I had forgotten about our conversation until the day I received a package in the mail. It contained the dog collar below. As I held it in my hands and caressed the extremely weathered and worn leather, fond memories of my dog, Friday, came to mind. I felt a sense of duty to Danni and her husband to deliver to them the best possible reconstructed item I could using this wonderful old dog collar.
John and I both examined it closely. It had years of grim built up on it from dirt and water. I had to strip it down, clean, and condition the leather to the base so I would be able to attempt the undertaking of embossing lettering.
It came out beautifully. I had enough of the collar left to make a personalized wristband as well.
A few nights later, I lay awake imagining how it would come out. Like every thing we do I handled it as if it were my own.

I had to wait patiently for the treatment to dry fully before John could add the new dye. The leather sucked up the first application of dye like a dry sponge. It took several coats of dye and two applications of "super sheen" to bring it to a rich luster. John and I were thrilled with the results.

This has to be one of my most rewarding and memorable moments in this business. For someone to part with and entrust us with this cherished article made me feel quite honored. If you have such an article that you would like us to give life to visit us at our website or Etsy shop. We would love to chat with you and possible deliver to you the same results as we did to Danni and her husband.


Anne ^i^

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