Meet Isaac Haines, the Edmonton Craftsman Behind Fieldwork Co.

Guided by a deep sense of curiosity and initiative, Edmonton’s Isaac Haines is decidedly hands-on when it comes to developing his fine goods line, Fieldwork Co.

Fieldwork Co. craftsman Isaac Haines. Photograph by Aaron Pedersen.

Guided by a deep sense of curiosity and initiative, Edmonton’s Isaac Haines is decidedly hands-on when it comes to developing his fine goods line, Fieldwork Co. (fieldworkco.com). As a fly fisherman, it all started with the need for a tool roll that could easily be stored on his motorcycle during fishing trips to the mountains. After months of research to no avail, he decided to make his own; he bought a cheap sewing machine, a block of beeswax and linseed oil, painted his own formula blend onto the cotton canvas, and infused it into the fibres using his wife’s hair dryer. “Tada! I had waxed canvas,” he recalls. He added brass rivets, leather wrap detail (“Essentially, all the elements I love,” he says), and carefully filled the tool roll with a curated selection of motorcycle tools. “It cost me way more than any tool roll I could have bought online, but it was exactly what I wanted — and needed. It was rugged, durable and, in my opinion, beautiful.”

In the three years since, the self-taught, 29-year old craftsman has created tobacco pipe travel pouches, leather belts, journals, camera straps, key chains, coasters, carpenter aprons, backpacks and, most recently, a Cypress wood, patchouli and lavender beard oil, made in collaboration with Edmonton’s MacDuff’s Soap Company. It appears that to get tailored, quality products you truly love, you have to put in the fieldwork.

This article appears in the April 2020 issue of Avenue Edmonton.

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