It's the humidity that gets you, but you already knew that. The most popular question upcountry lately is something along the lines of 'Wicked hot, ain't it?' which, as you, an educated Brettuns Village Newsletter reader, also already knew is just a subset of the age-old 'Hot enough for ya?' question that wins the Most Annoying prize. I keep checking the weather map, hoping to see a high pressure system, but it looks toasty warm and damp for the foreseeable future. Oh well.
Been spending time at camp when we can, and if you're new to this gobble-de-gook what we call a camp doesn't involve a tent or mosquito netting - the true definition of a camp in New England is, well, more or less it's the other house where you wish you could live full time, but it's up in the woods off a gravel road where FedEx doesn't like to go, not many jobs in the area, but there's the pond for swimming and fishing, and only a mile to the ice cream stand. It's a trade-off, really, a place we get to as much as we can, to spend time with our two daughters (3 if you count That Dog), relax, and sleep that comfortable, deep, long sleep that you can only get at camp. Except for those danged loons, out there sounding off in the middle of the night. Sometimes it's great to hear them, other times you want to grab the root beer bottle off the night stand and pitch it toward the sound, but then you remember you'd tear a hole in the window screen if you tried it, and that would let in a nice new group of camp visitors, the buzzing kind, so you'd likely perish from blood loss before the eggs hit the pan next morning. Roll over, back to sleep, loons making that sound so that you can just flat tell they're laughing about it.
So, been out of touch with you for a while, busy as can be, moving into yet another warehouse space, and filling it up with loads of new leathers. Furs too. Lots of them.
For starters, many of you have bought our Armor Sides in the past - we just got in another load of them, all black. For some reason, the tannery sent us a lighter weight this time around, so these are 7-9 oz sides, veg-tanned, not oiled at all, so they can be wet-formed and will even take some tooling/stamping. We've got them in two sizes - small and large, and they're on the Sides page, which you can find right about here:
Other new stuff: None of these items have been added to the site yet, mostly because we've been too busy lugging the stuff from point A (where we bought them) to point B (the warehouse), but it's quite a bit of stuff, even for us. We received black sheep leather printed with a leopard spot pattern, almost 1,000 full cowhides of Italian upholstery leather in earth-tones, red, blue, and green, a couple of bales of shearling (this is sheep leather with the hair still on, cropped to 1/2" pile depth, like you see on the collars of bomber jackets worn by pilots in those old movies where everybody is smoking on the aircraft at all times, no matter what, and even when they parachute out they're still dragging on that thing, and maybe they drop it when they land but by the time the camera is back on them they have either the same butt or a new one clenched in their teeth)(Award winner for longest parenthetical phrase this year) - well, anyway that's what shearling is - we have it in black or brown leather side; all the hair is that natural cream sheep fur/hair color. Also beaver, muskrat, raccoon, and badger furs, nicely tanned and ready for use (although we're going to have them inspected first by Maine's IFW folks to make sure there aren't any threatened/protected/deeply concerned species in the lot, so don't expect to see these on the site right away), and then, well, right now I want you to hold onto your chair and that mouse thing that you use on your computer because the following statement may cause you to tip either forward or backward, depending on which side of the equator you're on (if you're not sure which side you're on go flush the toilet and watch which way it swirls) - in one lot we received, unloaded, and stacked 20,000 goat furs or hides or whatever you call them. These are furs, with the leather side tanned to perfection, and the hair side left natural, so there are all manner of spots, colors, and hair lengths in the mix. While this may be bad news for the world's goat population, it amounts to yet another big, hairy deal around here. Goat hair, by the way, can travel up your nostrils until it's circumnavigating your brain, which explains why I'm having no trouble at all coming up with material for this newsletter.
We'll get pictures of this new stuff on the site soon - and I think I'll throw together a special sale page for your subscribers that will have the same items, but at a better price. I'm thinking of selling the goat hides in groups of 100, 10 or individually so that you can get as many as you need. As soon as we have the new stuff posted I'll let you know through one of these letters. I know that hurts, but it's cheaper than buying postage stamps.
Another thing - we carry a lot of tools including some awesome rawhide mallets, which are what you're supposed to be using when you hammer on your leather craft tools. This includes carving and stamping tools, but also rivet setters, eyelet setters, and just about any other metal tool you plan to strike. Use a composite pounding board underneath and a rawhide mallet - this is safe and will keep your tools in working order. So, go take a look at our tools, buy some, add a rawhide mallet, and I'll ship you a 1/4" arch punch for free. Do it now.
That's what's new up this way. If you see any dry air outside in your neck of the woods, and I mean any of it, let me know. I'll drive there.
Churchill Barton, Reserve Goat Skinner
Brettuns Village Leather