This Fall I met a peculiar chap through a friend of a friend, and our trails have dovetailed ever since. He tells me he bought his first WalknTalk journal at Flatts and Sharpe, and has started a new journey. His son came over to my workshop to make his very own Tom Sawyer this week, and the experience was amazing. Not only was I showing someone the process for the first time, but I was doing it step by step with a young boy half my age.
I kept imagining what he would remember about this special day when he grew up to be twenty-five. Where would this journal lead him, and what would it look like down the line? I pulled out some old special scraps from the remains of my original sixty pound bundle of leather from Argentina, and showed him what the very first WalknTalk's looked like. I told Joonas I wanted to make him a special one. He was stoked, and so was his Dad. Joonas climbed around my lofts, inspecting ever inch of my space as I got out the materials, and man did he enjoy that tall glass of chocolate milk that I poured him. In some way I felt like I was at my grandma's house as we took a break, and drank chocolate milk together. Maybe he did too.
We cut and processed the leather as a team. He picked out his favorite color threads, and we prit' near sewed the entire thing up together. It was a fun process, and after a whole hour and a half his Mom had even dropped by to check in on him. I wondered how often she saw him that focused? And his Dad laughed and said "Hey Joonas, I bet you've never cut leather before huh?".
I guess there's no better way to draw yourself into the moment than with a WalknTalk. Joonas sealed the last step, and stamped the journal himself with my scolding hot branding iron. Smoke came up from the insignia as he said "wow". His mom and dad just smiled and said "good job Joonas".
Jonas and Nathan cutting the leather.
Placing the cutting die on the cutting board.
Showing Jonas how to use the WalknTalk clicker press.
Lining up the paper to drill it old fashioned style.
Enjoying a moment to remember.
Want a Tom Sawyer journal like Jonas's? You can buy one here.
and here is a picture of one of the first WalknTalk journals, known at the time as a "coffeebook". You may have heard that I used to stain the paper with coffee on my rooftop in Buenos Aires...More on that in another blog post soon to come.