Whitney Cecil’s Baltimore studio space houses an antique letterpress, work tables, and … play space. Complete with a ‘busy board’ created by her husband with many of the buckles and latches you’ll find on her handmade leather goods.
If you visit the Almanac Industries space on a weekday morning morning, chances are you’ll find Whitney working on projects while her two-year-old son, Ezzie, busys himself in the play space. Then it’s out to lunch (probably Atwaters!) and home for Ezzie’s after nap. She hits the shop again after her husband, a high school art teacher, comes home and takes over E. She’ll work until, well, the projects are done.
… During the holidays? That’s very late. She’s finishing custom holiday card orders and getting merchandise ready for all of the holiday markets popping up all over the mid-Atlantic area.
Whitney started working in a letterpress studio right after college at MICA. When she and her husband created Almanac Industries, they started making bound leather notebooks. Then customers started asking for wallets. So they started making those. Products expanded to clutches, catchall trays, and more.
The (cool)est thing about Almanac’s leather works is that she uses untreated leather — so it changes it’s look and becomes more weathered over time.
Whitney and Ezzie were enough to show us an easy last-minute holiday gift you can make yourself: a hand-stamped leather bracelet. Of course, if you’re less of a DIY-er, just call Whitney and she can make you one! You can find all of the leather supplies you need at Tandy Leather in Essex. You may also be able to supplies or blank leather cuff bracelets at your local craft store.
diy hand stamped leather bracelets
alphabet stamp set
Start by measuring your leather strip to fit your wrist. Cut the strip to size.
If you’re using a blank leather cuff bracelet, you can skip this next step: which is add your clasp!
Now it’s time to personalize. You’ll need a very hard surface to place to the leather strip. Whitney uses a slab of granite. Choose the word you’d like to create with the alphabet stamp set.
Using the mallet, ‘hammer’ the letters into the cuff so they leave an impression.
Photos by Laura Black.