"Staying Within the Compass"
Some of my favorite work these days is when I can find a way to combine old designs in a logical way to create something completely new. This pouch is certainly unique, but all of the elements of design, construction and materials are documented within the "compass" of old work.
The original pouch that inspired the shape and pattern was collected by Tom Ames in S.E. PA. The original 19th c. pouch was constructed from the recycled leathers from a pair of work boots, the rough side facing out on the pouch as it had when it was still a boot...and very waterproof from repeated waxing and burnished wear. Over the years I have found MANY old pouches made from old boot leather, "waist not~want not" as the saying went. For this example however, I didn't copy the rough-out leather as I had for the bench copy I made several years ago, for this, I just barrowed the pattern and the construction techniques.
The profuse designs I carved & stamped into the leather came from three separate historic inspirations; First, the elaborate carving technique and design from the Getz Fox Face Pouch gave me permission to just go wild. Second, the idea of using over-lapping Hex symbols I garnered from an early powder horn I saw long ago but never forgot. Third, the compass Hex designs themselves from the head stones of 17th and 18th c. settlers graves.
The buckle I made by refiling a large solid brass buckle to match the lines of an early brass buckle on an 18thc. traveling pouch I collected in Pennsylvania years ago. It has a proper iron tongue...I have never found an early brass buckle that had a brass tongue. It takes a bit of time to forge out and fuss adding an iron tongue but it's those little traditional nuances that I like.
P.S. If I miss my shot while toting this pouch, I can't blame a witch for my poor aim!
Copy and photos supplied by Steven Lalioff.