Commission – A simple belt pouch

It was a fateful Monday when Eric and Suha visited the Walsall Leather Museum.  The museum is usually closed on Mondays but it was open for a public open day.  I was called in to help with some of the extra activities taking place.  The moment I arrived I was informed that there were a couple of visitors who wanted to meet me about a commission.  They had arrived at the museum on the only Monday in the year that it was open and I was in attendance.  We had a short discussion after which I asked them to make an appointment for an initial meeting to discuss the commission.  However Eric was to return to the South the next day and Suha was to leave the country in a few weeks.  Quickly finding a replacement for my ‘station’ I sat with them in  the café to go through the design quickly.

A few weeks down the line I handed over the completed commission.  Please see the photographs of Eric’s belt pouch below.

The story goes that Eric had bought a belt pouch from the local China market some decades ago.  With daily use the bag had perished.  The stitching was coming undone and the belt loops had already broken and been repaired previously.  Eric had been looking for a replacement and ended up at the museum on that fateful Monday in search of someone who could make one for him.  The pouch needed to carry a trouser wallet and a bus bass wallet.  For those readers outside the UK, the government gives retirees passes to travel on public transport without charge.  Since this was a bespoke project we had the opportunity to make the pouch ideally suited to the user.  The lining material I recommended was a light colour to enable Eric to find any smaller items more easily and the closure was designed to be easy to operate while offering superior security.  The belt loop on the rear was completely redesigned for longevity and ease of use.  One of Eric’s complaints about the previous pouch was that it would slide off his belt whenever swapping it.  Not happening with his new pouch!

This project was a really nice project to do and not only because of the item made and the lovely materials.  It was made especially pleasurable because it was for a lovely elderly gentleman and it was commissioned by his close friend.  Making is not just about starting and finishing a project.  It is about putting something of oneself into it and it is about the person or people for whom the item is being made.  It is about the anticipation of how the completed commission will be received and how it affects the life of the recipient.  Every project completed so far has put me in touch with amazing people with whom friendships are always forged.  Something I enjoy and am grateful for.