Sunday, April 25, 2021

Bag Strap

 My friend Lauren introduced me to this strap design.

I will add a diagram soon as well as a photo, but in the mean time, here is the video:


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Mottled Effect

 There are some beautiful projects out there where people have created a mottled effect - some with shaving cream (see Marbling) and with many other techniques.

This inspired me to try too and it came out so nice that I just had to share.

My first attempt was to dab at the leather with a piece from an old shirt:

The last few dabs were with a dark brown and made it look a bit dirty here and there.

Next I used red, light brown and dark brown, dabbed on with a piece of trimmed sheep wool.

This was the look I was after!

I decided to make a brown only one and see which one would best fit the center piece of the valet tray it would be part of.

I chose the brown one and here is how the application of a conditioner made the color pop (I used dubbin for the conditioner, but something like Dr Jackson's Hide Rejuvenator or Aussie would be just as good).


Then came the video:

And this is the pieces after the fun was done:

I will add photos of the completed projects....


Thursday, March 11, 2021

Freehand Weave

 The first step is the design the weave - well described in the video.
Transfer it to the leather, cut line with the swivel knife and bevel the ribbons as each of them dip below the others.

The leather is a milled Sienna side from Tandy - look at the beautiful texture!

Then you employ the 6900 stamp to enhance the corners as shown in the video - this is what makes this weave so special and easy:  two stamping tools only for the weave.

Here is the video:

This shows the veiner used for the border:


And this is after blue purple on the border and covering everything with brow Hi-Lite stain:

Have fun with your own variations!

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Stitching ClampFree

 Classic Saddlestitch is done with the project clamped in a stitching pony or stitching clam, and the awl and one needle held in one hand and the other needle in the other hand.

If you do not have something to clamp the work in and your project is small enough, you can achieve the same stitch freehand.

The video shows how.


In the video I mention finger gloves / finger cots.  Here is what the packaging looks like.  I cannot remember where I bought them.

Here is a more comprehensive post about hand-stitching, if you want to kick it up a notch:
Hand Stitching Leather

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Swivel Knife Blades

 A lot can be said about swivel knife preference and quality, etc..

All I want to do here is show the different blades that leatherworkers might come across.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Resist and Antiquing

 I did a test to show some of the options with resist and antiquing. 

This photo shows my preparation for the process:

I first stamped the top piece of leather with the hats and slightly beveled around them.

Then I applied Neatlac in specific spots as I will soon explain.  Those areas stayed dark, even after the Neatlac dried, and I realized I would have to do the same on another piece of leather that was tanned differently.  You can see the difference in the effect of the Neatlac.  I did the same on both pieces, so when I refer to "B", it is the second hat from the left in the top row, on both pieces of leather.

A:  No resist, no dye.

B: Both hat and background resisted.

C: Just the hat is resisted with the Neatlac.

D: Only the background is resisted.

E: No resist, no dye.

F: Hat painted with white acrylic paint

G: Background dyed with Java brown water-based dye.

H: Background dyed and hat resisted.

After this, the Hi-Lite stain was applied:

Here is the result:

On both pieces the background dye around G and H almost completely disappeared - I think the Java brown dye and the Chestnut Hi-Lite colors were too close for the dye to show through in contrast.

And here is a quick tip:

After applying Hi-Lite stain, you always have to seal it in, because the stain leaves a residue on top of the leather.
If I am happy with how my project looks at this stage, I will often simply spray it with Leather Sheen aerosol - goes on shiny and then after five minutes you cannot even see that it has been sealed. 

In this case however, I wanted to get the Hi-lite stain off as much as possible and also make sure that the color was on as even as possible.   To do this, I applied the Neatlac with a sponge as you can see in this video:

All that remained now was to apply white acrylic paint to the hat in E.  In this case it was not very successful, but with things like flowers, it is often nice to get a bright color going on top of the Hi-lite stain.  I prefer option F where the Hi-lite stain slightly dulled the white of the hat, but you can see how much contrast there still is.

 The final result is as follows:

So I hope you can now see how you can use different pathways to achieve different results.