Hello, I'm Elizabeth Bond, The Smart Stitcher. This section gives you a little of my background.
I love learning about leather and creating bespoke products for people who share my love of leather and textiles. I started my career as a mental health nurse and in 2003 I gained a place at the Royal School of Needlework, studying on their three-year apprenticeship and learning how to stitch anything with expertise. With this high level of ability I found I was looking for a specialism to take my skills to the next level.
I saw a flyer for a belt making course in August 2010. I had being taking different courses - millinery, corsets, wire sculpture, paper cutting,weaving and making tutu's to further my knowledge and skills; the leather belt making caught my imagination - the chance to make a belt that fitted me properly. The teacher, Lesley, showed me how to rivet and hand stitch belts. This caught my imagination, something that was stitched and that fitted me. Well, that was it. Working with leather seemed a natural progression, demanding excellence and skill, so I set about learning the knowledge and techniques I would need. Belts led to bags, to more bags (you can never have enough), to gloves, moulded leather and then on to shoes.
Alongside this I love to repair, restore, design and make church altar frontals, stoles and other church fabrics.
I love working with different materials and challenging myself with each project. I enjoy being able to share these skills and inspire more people to work with leather, teaching in people their homes, locally at Queens Park Arts Centre and at The British Museum.
Finally, I have to confess to an unhealthy interest in combine harvesters. I love cats and would also like to be a character in a Jill Mansell novel. My goal is to work for myself, when I grow up, in darkest Buckinghamshire.