A creative collaboration between Eternal Luxe and Gabe Kovacs.
Design and creation of a collar for Gabe's Jack Russell mix Houdini.
Q&A with Gabe Kovacs:
EL: Give us a short bio of yourself. One for Houdini as well.
GK: My name is Gabe. I’m a HungaRican (Hungarian-Puerto-Rican). I’m a guitar player, food aficionado, techie and definite dog lover. I think of myself as a creative person that is always trying to learn new skills.
For little 16 pound Jack Russell mix Houdini it all began on a gloomy afternoon in San Jose. He lived a hard life on the streets begging for scraps and love. He eventually wound up at the pound. The day before he was sent to “the green mile” aka puppy death row he was picked up by Family Dog Rescue in San Francisco and taken to a puppy halfway house near Dolores Park. This is where we first met, he was the smallest among 16 other dogs. We took Houdini home and his personality started to emerge. He’s now a happy dog who loves like you wouldn’t believe. His favorite activities include eating, long walks, park trips and pinning Pomeranians.
EL: Why did you decide to make a new collar for Houdini?
GK: I’ve always been into exclusive and quality products and often feel that options at the store don’t match my picky criteria. To me, Houdni has such a unique story and personality that he deserved a collar that represented him and his journey. He’s himself is a mutt, a true one-of-a-kind, so he needed a collar that was also a one-of-a-kind and created just for him.
EL: What was the most memorable aspect of making this collar using traditional leather craft techniques? Was there anything you didn’t expect?
GK: The main thing that stood out to me was the amount of detail and time it took to treat the leather. The process was so specific that I wouldn’t be able to repeat it alone. Each step was so important and had its place. Whether it was applying glue in a specific direction, dyes, waxes, or using irons and hammers, each step required its own level of finesse. It was definitely much more complex than I expected. I anticipated leatherwork to be more like cooking where you could improvise and figure it out as you go. I quickly learned it was much more like baking with specific processes in place and each for their own reason.
EL: What design details are you responsible for? What is your favorite detail?
GK: I was not responsible for any specific segment of the collar, but I helped in tasks like cutting strips and glueing layers together. My favorite detail would have to be using the iron to finish the leather and seal everything together.
EL: What makes this collar special among all the other ones Houdini wears?
GK: First and foremost it's 100% custom made just for Houdini and was designed with only one belt notch. The leather is incredibly soft and the color (forest green) has such a class to it.
EL: Does Houdini like his new collar?
GK: Houdini loves his new collar. He wears it everyday. He also told me he likes it.
EL: What did you walk away with from this experience?
GK: I walked away with tremendous respect for anyone that makes or has made leather goods.