“Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it.” Confucius

As I’m sure you’ve all seen, this summer the wonderful Holly Outtridge cane over to do a little photo shoot, a large focus of it being my hands at work. I had mixed feelings about this as, while I know my hands are my livelihood, I have never looked at them and thought they were particularly beautiful. Well, I needn’t have worried as Holly is incredibly talented and the pictures came out wonderful (as I’m sure you all have seen!)

I particularly like the way she captured my tools. Saddlery tools have changed very little over the years and good tools are hard to come by. For that reason, a number of my tools have passed through many other saddlers’ hands before coming to my workshop. I can often be found on eBay looking got new gems, as the reality is the old tools are often the best tools.

Something I love about these tools is the stories they tell. Their imperfections are all part of the journey, who made them, who used them, whether they were cherished or just thrown into a tool-box.

That got me thinking… Why is it that I think the imperfections of my vintage tools are beautiful, yet the scars on my hands are ugly? Surely it’s exactly the same thing? The scars, blisters and calluses are all part of my story, and that is kind of beautiful.

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