About my work

Leatherworking has been one of my hobbies for at least the last thirty years. Since the leather bug bit me roughly at the age of fourteen, my main direction for leatherwork would be given by which other hobby or interest (yes, there have been many…) was predominant at the time. My involvement with the shooting sport has spawned a lot of development of holsters, rifle slings, bags, belts and knife sheaths. Archery gave birth to a range of quivers, finger tabs and armguards. At present my involvement with vintage bicycles provides me with many opportunities for developing all sorts of bicycle related leather to compliment any vintage bicycle.  And then there is also my range of messenger bags, hunting bags and just generally “possibles bags”, to fulfil any bag-need you may have.

And then, of course, the development of Reivilo Watch Straps, fueled by my love of vintage watches, and the need that every one of these old watches have for a strap that is as unique as the watch itself. Customizing watch straps leave the client with virtually hundreds of different choices, involving colors for leather, colors for stitching, padded or not, styles, etc. You decide what you for your watch, and I will see how closely I can match your expectations to reality! Really a lot of fun, and very rewarding.

Working with leather is a wonderful experience. The smell, feel and look of natural leather are at the same time ancient and modern. Whenever I come across an old leather object, the signs of many years of use written clearly all over it, I always wonder about the stories that it could tell and how it contributed to some of the mysteries of a world we are not part of or will never know about, its usefulness clearly the reason for its survival. And whilst working on a new piece I wonder about its journey, how will the combination of functionality and beauty earn itself a rightful place in a world where impulsive buying and throwing away has become the new hunter gatherer period of human existence.

My involvement with leatherwork, and I guess the same for all of my other hobbies, have often led me on a journey to make the tools I need. Often these tools are commercially available but scarce, too costly or too much of a compromise in functionality due to mass production and generalised design principles. So I will also focus to some extent on my toolmaking endeavour.

We find ourselves in a time where the internet is awash with similar blogs and websites, written and updated by industry trained professionals and craftspeople with many more years of experience than I may ever be able to accumulate, and I know my contribution to this ancient craft is simply a very small drop of knowledge in a much larger pond. This keeps me humble. However as long as there are still drops trickling into this pond, we can be assured that at least for now, this is one ancient craft that will not be forgotten.

Thank you for looking through my pages,

Hein Olivier

Australia