Why Leathercraft Workshops?
Hi I’m Jack Miller, the founder of Akajack’s Leathercraft. To me leathercraft workshops aren’t just about making something beautiful, they’re about building self-confidence. Let me explain.
I come from a family who built things with their hands – blacksmiths, wheelwrights, machinists and builders. Growing up I always felt a connection with the natural world around me because we had a the essence of practicality and primal survival notion ingrained into us.
Once I reached adolescence, one of the men in our clan who was a boot-maker, showed me how to make a belt from a raw piece of leather. I was enthralled by my achievement and amazed at how easy it was to make such a practical item that could have many years of use. My father got that first belt and it was an honor to present that to him beceause he built the house we lived in. Finally I felt that I could give him something in return, something I had made with my own hands.
Skills for Life
Ten years later, I found myself hitchhiking through the outback of the Northern Territory of Australia. Working small jobs here and there, I soon needed a new belt and pocket knife pouch. It didn’t seem right to just go and buy one, having learned already how to make it myself. So I thought I would rekindle some of those skills I learned as a kid.
I first cut up a pair of old work boots and stitched together a knife pouch. Then I hitchhiked 200kms to the nearest leather shop to purchased a bit of leather, a couple of tools and some dye for a belt.
Crafting my new belt and pouch took my self-confidence to new levels. The old feelings of pride and achievement had returned and I was inspired to do more. It wasn’t long before I found myself tanning the hides of kangaroos, snakes and even barramundi, handcrafting them into tobacco pouches, small bags and more belts. The more I worked with this incredible resource, the more ideas, and requests, came flooding in.
What I really love about working with leather is that it’s a craft that has been evolving since man first needed to clothe himself, protect his feet and carry water. Many of the ancient techniques, even methods to tan the hides into leather are still utilized today.
Besides the practicality, there is an immense amount of joy and satisfaction involved in creating something from one of nature’s greatest resources. The fact that the hide from an animal that has passed over, is preserved and utilized in an artistic yet practical way is incredibly nourishing to many.
I love seeing students in my workshops fall in love with leathercraft the same way I did. Infact one of them was so inspired she went on to building her own leathercraft business after only one course with me.
It’s stories like this that keep my passion fueled for this ancient craft. That combined with my desire to help others improve their life skills is why I run my workshops.
Our Workshops Empower People
My aim is to empower people of all ages by offering them ways to access their creative nature and gain a sense of achievement. I believe that every individual has the right to a chance, beyond all circumstances, to achieve some form of self-control and to awaken their creativity to experience uplifting joy and accomplishment
If my message resonates with you and you would like to book into a public workshop or arrange a special workshop for your organisation then get in touch with me. I’d love to share my passion with you to ignite yours.
My set-up is completely mobile so I am able to accommodate a workshop at your preferred location. Otherwise, I have my own facilities where I can accommodate a group of eager participants.
Jack Miller – Founder of Akajack’s Leathercraft Workshops