About Craftybird and the Crew

Hi, I’m Sally and I live and work on my narrowboat Craftybird with my crew, Brindley and Daisy.

I have been working with leather for over 15 years. I became fascinated with this beautiful medium initially because of my first dog. I wanted to buy a lovely collar for him but I couldn't find anything I liked so I decided to learn for myself how to make him one out of leather.

I have sold my dog collars at Greenwich Craft Market and briefly in Harrods too. Having moved onto my first narrow boat over twelve years ago, I continued working with leather from a tiny space and selling my wares off the side of the boat (when it wasn’t raining!) I could only make small stuff as the space on the boat didn’t really lend itself to bigger pieces.

I knew that what I really really wanted was a dedicated leather workshop where I could tackle larger projects, but also where I could have a weather proof shop.

I started to look around for a space on the land but realised that this would restrict me to staying in a particular area if I was to stay on the boat.

When I first encountered Craftybird, it was love at first sight! I came away absolutely fizzing with excitement! Finally I had found a way of having a floating, travelling workshop and shop! 

She has a totally separate space at the front for the workshop. She was built by Roger Fuller, a highly respected, quality boat builder. Built in the style of a Josher. If you appreciate such things; she has beautiful lines. She also has a 73 year old Lister JP2 engine which has been a joy (and not to mention) responsibility) to learn about in equal measures! She is 70 feet long.

I live on Craftybird with ‘the Crew’; Brindley and Daisy (small and opinionated… you‘ll know if we’re nearby from their contestant alerting me of any small development on the towpath!). We travel the canals and rivers in the UK. 

I really enjoy sharing my constantly evolving (never stop learning!) knowledge about leather craft and also helping people find out more about this lovely material. I love to see what others do with it too. There are so many ways to make things! So many styles and different tastes.

My passion lies with experimenting in jcolour and form - to explore and learn new techniques and applications. It feels like there are never enough hours in the day!

Even on a dull wet day, it is a pleasure to be in the workshop looking out on the canal, or where-ever we are, creating and experimenting. Producing leatherwork items to bring pleasure to future owners. Its a space that needs to be shared so please don't be shy if you see us on the towpath - come and say hi!

Currently, we run leatherwork workshops and sell leatherwork in the shop but going forward we would love to start offering other types of workshops in different disciplines in collaboration with other artists…. So watch this space!

‘The Crew’ and I open the shop most weekends and run workshops, work on commissions and making stock at other times. 

 Looking forward to seeing you soon!


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