News and Announcements

Interested in learning about blacksmithing? Read this!

--News & Announcements--
Upcoming projects:
Building a Frame Saw
Forging a Copper Kettle
Making a pair of leather work boots
Forging and Fletching a Bodkin
Flocking a drawer interior

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Old Year, New Horizons

When I first began writing many years ago, as I related around this time last year, it was with the resolve to write a meagre page a day for the entire year. The first year came and went, and although there were more than 400 pages written then, I simply was unable to write one a day, and only through expanding the size of the page I wrote on did it translate to more than the 365 I needed. The second year was close to the first, and from the start I wrote on those marginless pages and again fell short. Every year since the first has shown the same result, sometimes only one or two short, sometimes closer to a dozen.

This year, however, I for the first time reached that tantalizing 365 and wrote a few more for the closure to the story it needed. Now, as the last few days of December slip past in preparation for the new year and the next chapter of a larger story, I await the adventures to come.

In a few short hours I will be boarding a plane to London, and a few days later to Dublin, for a yet unwritten journey to wherever the lands may take me.

Until next year, happy holidays and safe travels.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Leather Tooling

Ever since seeing Jake Powning's leatherworking demonstration at Oakland this October, I have started thinking about how I can take what I learned and apply it to my own work. In the past, I always thought of leatherworking as pressing (hammering) patterns and shapes into the leather rather than carving it in a sense. As my fractured finger heals, I have had little to do in the way of blades and sheaths, so I turned to something else instead.

I decided to try tooling the front of a notebook with my chasing tools, which, I learned the hard way, was more difficult than I thought it would be (considering I had to do it with the leather dry).

First I drew the pattern, a simple take on the knotwork Tree of Life. I used this drawing, sized to the front of the notebook, as a pattern which I would then use the semi-sharp edge of a creasing tool from the chasing set to trace it into the leather.

From there, I lifted the pattern off and went over the lines again to make them deeper and crisper. Although it is not what I had in mind when I started, as I originally wanted to make the cords uniformly deep instead of the two lines for the edges, I was satisfied with the hour or so it took to do.

The effect is subtle and unfortunately difficult to capture on camera, but here is the result.