I was inspired by a product I bought on a trip abroad, and while experimenting on leather scraps and my standard sewing machine, I felt I finally found my passion. Since I felt an affinity to working with leather, I invested in an industrial machine that could handle about any leather and finding sources to support my growing leather & fabrication habit. My designs expanded as I learned more, and got inspiration from others asking me if I could make a certain thing, as well as what I see around me.
When I chose my shop name, I didn't want something that would imply only one genre, since I don't limit my work to any one area. The Bansai8 is taken from a merger of bonsai and one of my favorite films... and is a bit quirky like myself.
I also find the leather itself will decide what it wants to be used for, and sometimes a new design evolves to work for a specific leather. My understanding how different leather finishes or construction will impact a design--and I am continually learning and experimenting.
I'm an engineer by training and career, and always approach a project with an eye for how I can do it better, and ensuring an item functions and is durable, as well as fun.
I also enjoy costuming--but more as a twist on traditional garments, including making a Victorian riding jacket out of goatskin with grommet details. I have yet to venture into sales on this side, but always willing to work on custom...
And each year I increase the number of shows I vend at in the Seattle area--though since moving to Bremerton, you'll see me more at Tacoma area events.