I am Opel Mok.
It was back in 1970 that the ship berthed in Karachi ( West Pakistan then ), three young boys merely eight or nine years old came onboard with a piece of leather under their arms, some jerk needles made out of nails, a pen knife, pencil, can of glue and some threads asked me if I want to have a pair of sandals made. Placed my feet on the leather, he drew the outline, cut and stitched. I was watching them during the whole process and obviously got me hooked!
After they left, I made a jerk needle, took the leather off the eye of the mooring rope and started making knife sheaths for myself and shipmates!
It was not until 2001 that I took up a course on carving from Hidecrafter, Texas. Wanted to give up after the second lesson with all those red crosses and circles that Mr.Harry Resinger sent back! But he is one of a kind! He can motivates you thru his e-mails using words like....you should have seen Al Stohlman's work when he first started, his is no better than yours! He fooled me into it! LOL!
I am still learning!