On a cool Autumn afternoon Kaleb Bruch is headed off to band practice. He is sporting the newest piece of merchandise from Boundary Bay Brewery. A five-panel hat with a leather patch sewn in the middle. A patch he made.
Bruch started by branding sheets of leather with a circular logo of a tree round with the words “Cedar Dust IPA || Galbraith Mountain Series No. 1” surrounding the round. He then stained and cut the designs out of the sheets of leather. The result: a beautifully handcrafted three-inch patch.
Bruch says he has always been in tune with art whether it be music or photography. But in 2009, Bruch’s friend started to dabble in working with leather. Bruch took interest in the material and began working with it on his own. Now, Bruch will see something made of leather and think “I can make that.” And then he will.
One of his first major projects with leather was for his colleagues: A leather helmet front. Bruch is a firefighter with North Whatcom Fire Rescue. He has made dozens of other pieces for colleagues over the years. But, the “Cedar Dust Rounds” were his first commercial project!
The band practice he was going to? Not you’re typical band.
He plays in The Bellingham Firefighters Pipes & Drums Band. Currently he plays the snare drum, but has played the bagpipes, too.
The hats are available at the Boundary Bay Brewery Brewtique for $34.95.