It was time to give my Studio D’Artisan phone holder a little maintenance after some months of use.
It’s been the most constant piece of cattle-hide accessory I have with me.
But given the ‘finished’ nature of the leather – it came a pre-dyed saddle tan – it’s evolution in terms of colour has been much slower than one would expect of unfinished/natural leathers.
Tools include: natural-bristle brush, 100% horse oil, beeswax/neatsfoot mixture, magnifying glass, fine cloth and a cup of Taiwanese tea.
Firstly, I take the phone holder apart and wipe the leather clean (could use a soft brush too.)
I take note of areas which need particular attention (hence magnifying glass).
Then, I apply a thin layer of oil with my brush.
Areas of abrasion or grain damage are given slightly more oil.
The horse oil I use has very high penetrance, and within a minute or so, no residue is left on the grain surface.
I wait for 5 minutes, and then apply thin layer of wax all over.
The wax goes onto the grain, the edges, the backside (i.e. to dub it), the hardware (will give a shiny polish) and threads.
I wait 10 minutes, and then give the grain, edges and hardware a good rub through with my cloth.
Here is a super-macro of the grain for you 🙂
The leather that SDA has chosen for this holder is very interesting – it’s been finished at the tannery, but not completely ‘settled’.
The imperfections and natural grain texture are noticeable, especially after some oiling and a few months of wear.
The burnish on this piece was fairly high quality when new, and now after a few months, the edges have taken a dark, waxy shine.
A little bit of ‘lichenification’ (:P) happening – a sign of natural wear.
Since the leather has softened and stretched out a little, my phone no longer sits tightly in this holder.
So a little DIY was needed…
High quality mini speaker-pads to the rescue 🙂
I popped three of them inside, and problem solved.
Overall, I think SDA did a great job with this holder.
People seem to really like it, or in any case it certainly attracts lots of attention, and has been a conversation starter many a times.
The build quality was good, the colour well selected, and the leather choice very solid.
How does it compare to my previous Red Moon holder?
I feel the design is not as secure without a top-strap holding the phone down.
Red Moon also uses a superior (and more ‘refined’) leather, with more suppleness and reactivity.
But at half the price of the Red Moon version, this SDA holder definitely packs a punch…
The overall shape and design is also more rugged than that of most phone holders I’ve seen.
And dare I say, I prefer the single layer design instead of the double-layer on the Red Moon.
The pig-chief concho also makes it instant win 😛