Vegetable tanned leather is used for drinking vessels with oak bark being the main source of tannin. Hides can be of varying thickness to suit the item being produced and a range of dyes are used to achieve various shades of brown.
Following soaking to make the leather flexible it is hand cut using a variety of extremely sharp cutting tools to achieve the desired shape. Most of the leather work Phil produces is hand stitched using linen thread whilst the item is held in a saddlers clamp gripped between the knees. In other instances traditional copper rivets are used for larger items such as leather buckets.
The flexible leather is packed with dry sand mould and moulded to give the required shape whilst moisture is being drawn out of the leather by the sand to provide a completed hard leather shape.