This is a pre-embossed belt. I used water and spirit based dye to roughly add the red and green and purple to the belt design. I worked fast to get a more organic look. I did not want a detailed dye job.
So after that was done the belt did not look so hot at all.
Then I sprayed the belt with two layers of Supersheen to create an even partial resist and coated it with Chestnut Tan High-lite stain. It outlined the tooling and gave the belt, even with the red and green, a very natural look!
With Christmas around the corner, you may want to make a few quick gifts for the young kids in your family: a small coin pocket that hangs from a lace around the neck.
Their shape is not very crucial, so you can just draw up your own pattern from looking at these pictures. Even the construction of these are not complicated, so just study the pictures and let me know if you have a question.
Here are the first photographs of my latest embossing project: embossing a grey African Hornbil.
The first two photos show the design transfered to the leather, cut with a swivel knife and all the key lines beveled. The purpose of this is to be able to see the design outline on the back of the leather. So the leather needs to be well cased – the water has to penetrate right through the thickness of the leather.
The leather used is a 4oz Royal Meadow Tooling Cowhide – beautiful soft stuff that ‘almost carves itself’!
The beveling shows on the flesh side of the leather.
I trace the plug on a thicker leather and make sure I trace all the important lines of the design so that I have guides to help me sculpt the plug. After tracing, I cut the plug out smaller than the original design. I reduce the size of the design for the plug by the thickness of the leather that will be over the plug – that piece that I beveled the original design on.
A French Edge Beveler and a scalpel blade are now used to shape the plug – this is done like a panel sculpture and you need to take care to so it with as much perfection as you want to show in the final carving. Even the slightest bumps show through to the surface. The sharpness of these tools are absolutely crucial to the success of this step.
You will see that I did not include the tail of the bird in the plug – according to the photo the tail is in the background and so I want that to be clearly ‘in the background’.
Now the outline on the back of the tooling piece is covered in rubber cement and the plug turned front side down to be glued in place. Carefully place it in the outlines you see at the back. I use rubber cement so that at this point the gluing is not very permanent and you can still move it.
An optional step before this, is to stretch the inside of the design a bit by rolling the leather over a small marble rolling on a flat surface.
A Great resource of knowledge can be found in the Forum at www.leatherworker.net Join them and have the whole forum to search.
Categories include knife sheath making, braiding, saddle work, tools, etc..
There is also lots to drool over and a lot of inspiration to be had.
You will find me there too – look for the leather hat, instead of my ugly face!
One of the first steps in putting a second layer of leather on the plug. I lay the tracing film over the bottom plug layer and trace the outline – i.e. the size I want to cut the leather for the second layer. I also trace the lines that indicate the “valleys” between muscles, so that I can cut those into the plug.
The plug very much simulates the actual final carving as far as detail is concerned.
The next step is cutting out the plug:
…and then you glue the piece of leather onto the rest …
Let’s swap to the other arm where the glue has dried and here we start the sculpting proper: