Austen explains how he got into making leather goods and shows that sometimes our passions aren’t always obvious at first…
“It started on set, one hot and boring afternoon, when John Fleming (Grip) started teaching me how to tie various knots. I loved it. Very therapeutic but complex. Who the hell figured all these out in the first place? Did you know there are 177,147 ways to tie a knot?
I soon bought a book on how to tie even more knots.
One day, the back door keyring broke, so I made a monkey fist key ring for it. It looked good but I thought I could do better, so I did. Some friends saw it, and wanted one, then other people wanted them. I went from that to trying a couple of hand spliced dog leads, one for my in-laws, one for a DOP buddy.
Then Kelly wanted a dog collar, so I thought I’d teach myself a bit of leather work to do it.
So I did. It was the best thing I’ve ever made. So I figured I’d start making key fobs, belts, collars, wallets. All sorts. I even made two for a friends wedding for his Best Men. That was pretty awesome.
I do them all for free, only for nice people, and only when I feel like it.
“For Satan always finds some mischief still for idle hands to do.”
– Isaac Watts”