For a while now I have been working with wood and wanted to make bags using it as the main material. I found inspiration from the Japanese lamellar body armor used from the 4th century. Thus designed the bag to have around 60 pieces of wood all stitched together. It worked better than I thought and after a one prototype (see below) I was able to make a fully functional backpack. The stag beetles makes it an ideal bag for any professional or amateur entomologist (it is currently for sale here).
Since I like insects I decided to display some stag beetles on some of the wooden plates in a similar fashion that insects would be displayed in a collection. Stag beetles are quite amazing animals and this is the closet I would get to ever collecting any.
On the inside of the lid I added some additional information of these creatures.
The lid lid and latch is my second attempt (see below). The multiple panels of the lid allows it to follow the curving top and the whole bag looks less like a box. The latch is very simple and locks in place with a small wooden spiral that is attached to the lid.
The images are engraved on the bag and were partly inspired by a simple beetle from the first backpack I made. There are 16 beetles in total on the bag.
The bag is lined with a tough brown fabric. The straps are made from leather and attached with 4 mm leather cord. I left this quite long and can be shortened and adjusted to fit anyone.
The bag is approximately 36 x 27 x 14 cm (14 x 11 x 5.5 inches) in size and has an approximate volume of 10.7 liter (28 gallon). This will comfortable fit A4 sized books and laptops.
The wood is 4 mm Baltic Birch (some places – such as the bottom – I use 6 mm). Each piece has several coats of lacquer. The bag weighs just over 1 kg (2.2 pound).
There is one hidden image on the bottom that might evoke a smile from some. A few additional beetles might be found on other places in the bag.
My first lamellar backpack was made mostly using a scroll saw to cut the images. The is square and the latches are not very easy to operate. It is also over 2 kg, twice as heavy as the Coleoptera bag. I am still pleased with it and will probably use it myself.
Below are a few more images of the Coleoptera bag.
I still have still many plates left and will make several bags from these. Any suggestions (or commissions) of what themes I should use on these bags are welcome. The next one however is already decided – hominid skulls. Follow this blog to see when it is done and if it is successful.