The last ten years have seen a most notable revival in handicrafts of all kinds. Woodcarving, metalwork, fretwork and particularly leatherwork and pokerwork have been practised with great energy and much skill by the cultured and leisured classes, and many new facilities of all kinds have sprung up to meet an undoubted and growing demand. Of the many pastimes, leatherwork, including punching, cutting and staining, is among the most interesting. As an occupation it has a long and honourable history, and many fine examples of leatherwork, come down to us from past centuries. No wonder then that artistic men and women of today have taken it up as one of the most interesting of amateur pursuits.
Among those who have set themselves to supply the inevitable requirements of leatherworkers, a high place is taken by the Pyrography Co. of 78, Southampton Row and other depots in London. This company does not confine its attention to leatherwork, although experts in this branch. Pokerwork, chip and woodcarving, marquetry, and tapestry painting all receive their attention, and every machine or appliance required for these employments is found in their catalogue.
Not only is the mechanical part of the work undertaken, but a series of very handsome designs is prepared to meet the wishes of those who desire help in this direction. The Pyrography Co. has many made-up and finished examples for sale, but prefers to teach others how themselves to produce such pieces rather than to ply a sale in them.
In leatherwork, as remarked, this centre is especially strong and supplies tools and appliances which make many phases of this rather difficult art comparatively easy. Designs are supplied traced on to leather, and in some cases the work of cutting or embossing has been actually started, so as to show the beginner exactly how each is to be done. Appliances for staining may also be obtained from this company, and those who are following the series of articles on this interesting subject now appearing in this journal, will be enabled to buy their leather and obtain what assistance they re¬ quire from this useful institution.
As the illustrations make clear, the designs supplied are of very high class, so that in the work of the company of which we have been speaking, there is a charming alliance of the severely practical yet indispensable technical side with a fine and, unfortunately, only too rare artistic perception.