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leather worker's knife sitting on leather samples

In the Maker's Hands - Val Michael and Neil MacGregor

Continuing our series inspired by our recent show Crafts Alive - In the Maker’s Hands at Rodmarton Manor, we asked leather workers Val Michael and Neil MacGregor about their favourite specialist tools.

Val chose her favourite knife - 'This knife is perfect for so many reasons. It was made with care and understanding of the needs of the user. The handle fits my small hand so I can grip it firmly when cutting leather. The steel is so good, it stays sharp long after other knives give up.

It was a gift from Neil a few years ago so it is treasured.'

Neil chose his harness stitching awl - 'So many tools are special to me but this harness stitching awl represents them all.

It is beautifully made and a joy to use.

The blade is diamond shaped and is used to pierce each stitch accurately, a technique that is the foundation of my work, hand stitching.

Find out more about about their practice here.

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