Sunday, February 2, 2020

Oxidise / Oxidize

Many leatherworkers use Vinagroon to get leather black or grey. 

 There is another option:  getting the leather brown using Potassium Permanganate. 

 Here is a volume cover I only decorated with this method  -  I used a split, so the work was all done on the "flesh" side of the leather.  

Keep in mind I made this cover in the eighties - no fading, because there is no pigment involved.

The back is just a flat colored silhouette.

Here is a short video showing it being


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Saturday, February 1, 2020

Basketweave Around Something

Large areas of basketweave always look good.  

But if your design calls for an initial or something right in the middle of a field of basketweave, like an island, the problem arises:  how to keep those basketweave stamp impressions straight and still aligned when you get to the other side of the "island". 

 I mentioned it a few times to my friend Gary Arvidson and last week he came up with this very simple, elegant and fail-safe solution!! 

 I use Chan Geer's method of basketweave - you can see that explained in this
  BLOG POST (second video).

 So here is my first line done and you can faintly see the circle where I am going to place an initial.  
 The second line done.
You prepare a thin 2oz piece of leather as big as the area that you do not want to basketweave on:   

Gary used rubber cement (not permanent) on the back of his thin piece, but for my first try, I used Eco-Flo water based contact cement - it acts much like rubber cement if only applied to one piece of leather.   
I let that contact cement dry overnight - still tacky enough. I also flipped the project around so that I can now do the rows that will flow around that island.  

 I am going to do a circle on the front and rectangle on the back of this journal cover. 

 Put the thin piece of leather on the "island" where you are going to put the initial, glue side down.  Have it somewhat damp as well.  And start stamping! 

 Where the stamp goes onto the thin leather, do not whack the stamp that hard - all you want to do is to mark the outlines of the basketweave stamp where it would have been if you did not have the island.



 Do one row at a time as you would have done, just with light pressure on the thin cover for the island.  You can see when I peeled back my thin cover that I had a little bit too much pressure on the stamp - it got through underneath.


But then, when I tool in the initial and the basketweave edge, all those marks disappear!


 In this video I do the back of the cover, basketweaving around a rectangle.


 After I am done with the back of the journal cover, I will add more pictures here.