40 years of making handbags

Handbags as a career

Yes I just realised that this year is 40 years since I made my first leather bag.

AND I am still making them.


Is there something seriously wrong with a bloke who is now 66 and still handmakes all the bags that come out my workshop.

Do I love it? Some days??????

How on earth did it start?

Well! I was in my 20’s and having dropped out of school, Art school and interior design school, it was discovered that I had an aptitude to making things and problem solving.

So!  I found myself training and working in a very old Power station on the edge of Sydney harbour. Where it once stood, are now, Museums and luxury apartments that look across to Sydney CBD.

Living in a small flat and working shift work, (we didn’t have computers, netflix and what was to be the internet. TV yes, but with 3 channels that closed at midnight) Get home at 11pm and wide awake. What to do? Bored or what!!

I had been given a book about Australian Traditional bush craft which showed how to hand sew leather and make bags and stuff.

So! one day I found a place and went and bought a skin of veg tanned leather, a sewing awl, some needles and thread and a Stanley knife.

Steven Harkin sewing handbags

There! Now you might say I’m hooked ;-) 

Read Who is Steven Harkin for more details


1 comment

  • Alexandra Kellar

    As the very proud owner of two of your magnificent bags, one of which i have used almost everyday for almost 14 years. It still looks fabulous and people always comment on how amazing it is. At one stage it did need a bit of a refurb and i was fortunate to be travelling from Australia to Europe for a holiday and stopped in a had the opportunity to meet Steve in his studio. Thank you Steve

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