A constant blizzard all week means we're still locked inside and Brett shares the details of his leathermaking skills

Weekly Roundup

I’m going to spare you more weather chat this week except to say we've been in blizzard ALL WEEK and are well on the way to breaking wind records for the month, which is getting the Met staff excited while the rest of us go stir-crazy with cabin fever.

Fire Chief Cormac used the horrid weather for training this week to run an extreme weather desktop scenario and so make a plan for if, when and how the team could actually respond in these conditions if ever needing too. As a practical part of this, some of the team donned their fire gear and ploughed out into the 65+knot winds and snow to see how their movement was impaired and what variations could be required for the conditions. A worthwhile exercise for all and a good debate was had.

Indoor time has also been well-spent staring at the big screen. Friday night saw us watching the Science Week ‘Scinema’ films which had been shared with us. Great to see some documentaries for a change and we all know a lot more about funghi than we did before, except for how to say 'funghi’ properly… Saturday night was the all-important voting screening for the 48 hour Film Festival. Of course, we all thought ours was best but the results will reveal the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic consensus opinion all in good time.

As part of the on-going education opportunities available on station, Donna ran another cooking class on Saturday: this one was ‘by request’ and so covered anything from Pad Thai to Florentine biscuits. Enjoyed by all and hopefully some new skills acquired to bring home.

Weather doesn’t look like improving for this weekend, again, so no jollies and another Red Shed lock-in. Wonder how we'll keep ourselves occupied this time? 

Hobby: Leatherwork

Leather work offers almost limitless horizons and for centuries leather has continued to serve mankind.

Eons ago, Man the hunter, found the animals he killed for food could provide him and his family with sandals and garments by simply curing and fashioning the skins. During the Middle Ages however, only the wealthy could afford boots, capes, saddles, decorated chairs, etc made of leather.

Today anyone can enjoy leather work: the art of creating beautiful and useful articles of leather materials it is enjoyable lifetime hobby. 

Materials: Coats skin, cattle,sheep and pigskin

Lacing: Glazed roo lace 3 mm 

Buttons: sockets, studs, eyelets 


  • Water and sponge for damping leather.
  • Stamps made in plastic.
  • mallet
  • sharp knife
  • Transfer paper for transferring pattern
  • pencil
  • ball point stylus
  • swivel knife for curving
  • dividers
  • straight edge
  • ruler
  • hole puncher
  • button-socket
  • stud-eyelets
  • punch.
  • skiving tool
  • thonging chisel
  • 2 prong needles
  • lacing fid
  • modeling tool
  • pliers
  • water solvent dyes
  • liquid wax finish.

To make items, it takes about:

  • 16 hrs for belts, sunglasses case and key case.
  • 4 hrs for key rings
  • A lot longer than 16 hours for wallets and hand bags

Nothing beats a handmade gift!

Brett Donoghue