Last Friday, Rick and I went on a date. Dinner, drinks and belt making. Sounds pretty fantastic? It was. I heard of Makesmith through my friend Kara, leather goods handcrafted in Santa Barbara by Steve Soria. Steve teaches a workshop on belt making and Rick immediately signed us up. The shop has a lot of simple welcoming charms like Harry the dog, relics of an old fireplace, art, and the scent of leather.
And of course, all the essentials of leather crafting that a third generation leather craftsman could need to create beautiful belts, wallets, purses, moccasins, computer and tablet cases. Check out Steve’s online shop. Drool!!!
We began the class with picking out our buckles and sizing up our waist.
We then cut the length of our belts straight from a rawhide, followed by a handful of steps with the use of some cool tools and Steve’s guidance. We then conditioned and stained our belts. Rick chose a dark brown and I left my belt natural. The finishing process was my favorite because you really got to see the leather’s final characteristics. Sensational, one-of-a-kind things come from making something with your hands. Truly priceless and why I love handmade work.
Steve is a true artist and has created a wonderful experience by opening his door for workshops. Rick and I were so fortunate to spend a few hours at Makesmith and will treasure our belts for as long as we can buckle them.
Makesmith is open Monday to Friday 9-5, at 117 W De La Guerra St, behind Elsie’s Bar. Become a fan on facebook to stay in form for future events.