JOURNAL | Projects, Events and New Products


    I got into leather working from growing up in my father restoration and repair shop where I watched some of the nicest leather goods come through the door. From finest Italian handbags, to the most handmade hippy bags from the seventies... I've really seen it all. So over the years I've developed a real sense of high and low. I really don't care what brand makes what design, rather, I"m more interested in how well something is executed. The lines of the particular piece matter. The quality of the leather matters to me. And, the way the item fits matters to me. I really love these leather sandals for both of these qualities. First, they look a lot like a classic flip flop (which are so annoying btw... I hate flip flops, they just sounds so annoying) but these have a similar look, but with an added design layer. The extra strap add more stability on the upper arch, and keep them from sliding off and flopping around... LOL so to speak! These are available from Todd Snyder.


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  • Featured :: W.M. Brown Magazine

    THE WM BROWN PROJECT - Issue No. 16 “The Factory Tour”
    Our private label design and development leatherwork for Homer Maker. A new brand founded by Terry Pillow in Montectio CA, leather goods inspired by American saddlery; our pieces sit there intoxicatingly between the pages in harmony with all the other Negroni lovers of the world. Cheers 🥂
    #wmbrownmagazine #wmbrownproject #rafaeladonatelier #homermaker 


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  • A little shout out to our Dogs - Keeping wearing your collars and leashes!

    Here’s a shout out to all the dogs that I’ve been rocking the Make Smith colors and leashes. We see you we love you. We support you from the Chihuahuas to the labradors all the way to the giant Saint Bernards and Great Daines. We see you all! Keep rocking these handmade leather collars and leashes we've built, and keep being the best looking dogs in the Pacific Northwest from Seattle all the way down to Portland, Oregon in Salem and Ashland. 

    Leather Dog Collar and Leash
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  • How to choose the best leather for your belt projects.

    When embarking on a leather belt making project, one of the most crucial decisions you'll make is choosing the right type of leather. The quality and characteristics of the leather will greatly impact the final look and durability of your belt.


    Here are some key factors to consider when selecting the best leather for your project.

    Full-Grain vs. Top-Grain Leather

    Full-grain leather is the highest quality leather available, as it is made from the top layer of the hide and retains the natural grain. This type of leather is extremely durable and develops a beautiful patina over time. On the other hand, top-grain leather is sanded and buffed to remove imperfections, resulting in a smoother surface. While still of good quality, it may not be as durable as full-grain leather.

    Vegetable-Tanned vs. Chrome-Tanned Leather

    Vegetable-tanned leather is tanned using natural tannins found in plants, making it an environmentally friendly option. This type of leather ages well and develops a rich color over time. Chrome-tanned leather, on the other hand, is tanned using chromium salts, resulting in a softer and more pliable leather. Consider the look and feel you want for your belt when choosing between these two options.

    Thickness and Weight

    Leather thickness is measured in ounces, with a higher number indicating a thicker leather. For a sturdy belt, opt for a leather thickness between 8-10 ounces. Keep in mind that thicker leather may be more challenging to work with but will result in a more durable belt. Additionally, consider the weight of the leather, as heavier leather will create a more substantial belt.

    Grain and Texture

    Pay attention to the grain and texture of the leather when making your selection. Smooth leather with a consistent grain is ideal for a classic and polished look, while textured leather adds character and uniqueness to your belt. Consider the style you want to achieve and choose the grain and texture accordingly.

    By carefully considering these factors and selecting the right type of leather for your leather belt making project, you can ensure a high-quality and long-lasting finished product. Remember, the quality of the leather you choose will greatly impact the overall look and durability of your belt, so choose wisely!

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