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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

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.

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