Arnold has now re-located to a garden shed.
Appointments can be made for a visit by email please.

Below are a few articles
on Arnold Smith and his work.

Magazine Article

The following is taken from an article written in ‘Designer Leatherworker’ Issue No. 2, 1990, which was the magazine for the Association of Designer Leatherworkers (ADL), which has since ceased to operate.

Arnold Smith

Leather working is Arnold Smith’s second career: he spent 25 years working as a Cartographic Draughtsman, before ‘taking up the tools’ as a hobby while stationed among American Service-men. This shows very clearly in his work, he has a finely tuned eye for the smallest detail, without losing the balance of effects required to complete a successful picture.

When Arnold begins to make his original drawings, he is already thinking of which tools he might use to obtain the results he wants. Arnold works only with Natural Vegetable-Tanned Leathers and skews the use of dyes in his work. For Arnold, The ‘colour’ in a piece of decorative work comes from the range of textures and tones he can achieve through controlled cutting, stamping and bruising. An ability to assess the moisture-content and condition of the leather throughout the working process is one of the essential skills required for this kind of working. Arnold’s use of ‘colour’ can be clearly seen in a copy he made of William Blake’s painting: The Ancient of Days (illustrated).

Ancient of Days

Arnold often works to commission but also produces a fairly wide range of work, including: shoulder-bags and belts, small leather goods, wall-panels and presentation-pieces. In the past he has made and decorated chair-seats. When I visited, he was completing a circular table-top panel cover with designs and motifs drawn from Celtic-Art.

He is best known for his leather ‘pictures’ which is a handy term to describe various kinds of decorative work made by Arnold which can be contained within the frame. Some of these are very ‘realistic’, but I think that the Leather comes into its own when the ‘realism’ of the subject is abstracted or stylized as in the Heraldic-Motif and the Bristol coat of Arms (illustrated).

Arnold is also a competent teacher, he has taught Adult-Education classes on Leather working for 15 years in both the Somerset and Avon areas of the UK. His students, almost 500+ to date, have the benefits of being taught by a leatherworking-professional, producing work of a consistently high standard over many years.


Excellent artist, beautiful work. Clevedon Craft Centre and Arnold are hidden gems, well worth a visit.
Claire Welsman
Arnold's a legend, a real pleasure to go and look around his shop and look through his book of leather craft items hes made. He has crafted me a holster for my secateurs and a holster for my bill hook as well as belts to go with them and after 20 years of constant use they are still in good condition. Ive purchased pictures, bags, belts to name a few for presents and you just know you have spent on quality that will last for many many years, well done Arnold you are a true craftsman.
Dan Webber
What an amazing gentleman friendly helpful and charming 😊
T Red
A gem of a place for any craft person interested in Leathercraft
Mike Dyson
Amazing work. Had an amazing handcrafted animal themed belt as a gift from here.. love it
Jamie Gardner
It is amazing everything about it
Scott's Wlaznik
years’ experience as a Leather carver
Bespoke leather work.
True craftsman and artisan
Anders Persson
Years for evening classes