One of my more interesting and demanding projects was a custom request to create a series of bags and pouches for a customer's camera equipment and laptop, utilizing as much as possible, the materials from an unwanted Eddy Bauer Packhorse rucksack. He had some other Eddy Bauer bags and wanted everything to have a similar style and utilize similar materials. During several Skype sessions, we hammered out the details and afterward I began the process of deconstructing the rucksack and then constructing first, the main camera bag. I utilized the waxed cotton fabric from the rucksack as the sides of the camera bag and added some pull-up leather for the bottom, back and top flap, augmented by some smaller pieces of hand-dyed green leather. I lined the bag with some soft rust-colored upholstery fabric.
The next item was the pouch for his 11" MacBook Air. For this, he wanted to use the leather flap from the rucksack, which happened to be about the perfect size to use for the back and flap. I used more of the waxed cotton and a zippered pouch from the rucksack on the front, again adding green dyed leather as needed for strength. He wanted his business logo on the front, so I incorporated this into the closure tab. Additionally, he needed several small bags to hold his camera accessories, some of which he wanted to be useable even when the accessories were mounted on his camera. I came up with an accordion style closure for some cylindrical shaped pouches which would hold his spare lens and filters. For his other accessories, he needed more rectangular pouches, so I devised a simple flap closure. My customer was so pleased with the results, that he contracted me to make a custom bag for his camera tripod:
This was perhaps an even more demanding task and also more interesting. He wanted the bag to be part of the tripod, or rather, the tripod to form the structure of the bag. After several more Skype sessions, he was able to communicate to me what he wanted. I proceeded to mock-up a prototype and then set to work constructing the bag out of the remaining waxed cotton from the rucksack. I had to get it right on the first try since I didn't have any material to spare. I used a similar accordion closure on the top and again lined it with the rust-colored fabric. Once completed, the bag sagged a little more than anticipated, so we came up with the idea to support the bag on a "trampoline" of leather which I designed to be tightly stretched between the tripod legs and would protect the bottom of the bag. Another design aspect was for the bag to transform into a travel version, containing all the spare parts inside itself in a more compact form. Overall, it was a great project or rather series of projects that tested my skills both as a designer and as a craftsman.
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