Monday, January 30, 2012
So, I started a quick project....a mouse pad. I wanted to keep it simple but elegant looking. I knew that I had to be careful with the type of design I used especially with optical technology. I found an old article by Mr. Paul Burnett on 'Ornamental Stamping' in the Leather Crafters & Saddlers Journal Magazine.
Friday, January 27, 2012
I am working on a larger project and decided to post a short tutorial on how I hand stitch my projects. Now, here is my disclaimer. The following photographs depict how I hand stitch. You may find out that my techniques may be in violation of published techniques, standards or other discussed instructions. I take this from that and put together what works best for me. I usually start my projects with pre-cut holes using my stitching chisels (as seen above). In case you are wondering, these are end caps for a prototype bag that I am working on. If you follow my blog, you will see it later on. Picture #1 I usually stitch away from my body for several reasons, but I have stitched toward me as well. It just depends what is comfortable for me at the time. A project this size, I normally do not deploy my stitching horse or pony. I find it comfortable to hold it in my hand. I start from the right side because......well.....because I am right handed, but like anything else I do, I have started from the left side before. You will notice that I make sure that my incoming needle stays underneath the pending needle/thread. Picture #2 Here is a another angle showing that the needle comes in under the waiting needle/thread. Picture #3 When I completely pull the incoming needle/thread, I pull it semi tight towards my body. Repeating this set will help keep the stitching nice and uniform (take a look down the stitch line to see what I mean). This will also clear some space inside the hole for the incoming (left side) needle/thread. If you do not do this, you could end up with several problems. Example: cut thread, go through the middle of the thread already in the hole or creating knots. You will notice that my right side thread is still below the left side needle/thread. Insert the left side needle/thread making sure that the thread stays on top of the opposite side recently pulled through. Picture #4 & #5 Here is another angle as you pull through the thread from the left side. I pull the thread semi tight and towards my chest
Friday, January 20, 2012
Here is a teaser for my loyal followers. No, it is not anything X-rated! I have this new knife coming in and it needs a new sheath, so...........I know this guy who likes working with leather.......ME! I don't want to leave this knife naked, so I will be making a horizontal belt sheath. I know that I will be tooling it because well, I like tooling, but I am considering making a second one with an inlay using some snake skin that was given to me by a good friend at DFC Studios. Stay tune!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
After making sure that the glued areas made good contact, I took my trimming knife and squared up the project into one piece. There really wasn't any special reason to do this since it is just a practice piece, but this is just what I do. After trimming my leather, I took my chisel and created the holes for my stitching.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Here is where the inlay comes to life. I applied a couple of coats of cement to the chrome tan piece and the top piece of leather. I took extra steps to stay clear of the ribbon shape. If cement made it onto the ribbon shape, it will show in the final embossed area.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
I applied contact cement on the base leather piece. I also did the same to the bottom of the chrome tan. I allowed the cement to become tacky or when most of the shine had dulled. I carefully took the chrome tan and laid it on top of the ribbon outline. CAUTION: Be careful to control what areas come into contact with each other as they will stick and removal may cause some unnecessary results. You can use wax paper to protect your pieces from making contact while you work. I used an old Tandy plastic rubbing stick to rub across the top of the chrome tan to make sure that contact is made. I then followed the chrome tan down the ribbon and onto the leather backing (base). Make sure to follow the contour of all the ridges, valleys and flat areas. Be careful to smooth out any leather that bunches up or creates creases. The chrome tan will stretch a bit, so don't worry about tucking it with your rubbing stick or modeling spoon. You can also use your fingers at the beginning to initiate the preliminary contact. Once you smooth out all of leather and good contact has been made, you can see the finished look for your logo (see pictures). Another word of caution: please make sure that your tools are ready to be used and are free of defects. The plastic rubbing stick that I used was borrowed at the time of this project. Unknown to me (really my fault because I didn't take the time to inspect the tool) the points of the stick has hard ridges or defects probably from being improperly stored or dropped. This cause the tool to actually wear on the leather and started to remove the dye. This can be seen at the bottom of the ridges of the ribbon outline. So be aware of my mistakes.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Once the cement became tacky, I started to put back the cut out pieces like a puzzle. I tried to stay within the lines when the pieces went back together to re-create the ribbon. I used a burnishing tool to press the pieces down to make sure that they joined with the backing. I would also like to take this moment to thank one of my followers for correcting me. You see I learn something new everyday and I am always open to correction. Apparently, I called this technique "applique" and I was incorrect. This technique is apparently called "inlay" just in case you are all wondering why the names changed in my postings for this project. Thanks again!
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
After cutting the ribbon out, I took another scrap piece as my backing. I scribe the ribbon outline design on to the backing piece in ink. I will use this as my reference for the build up pieces. I then applied a nice coat of contact cement to the backing piece. I took the pieces that I cut out in the previous posting and applied a coat of contact cement to the under side.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
I stitched the perimeter of the project using cotton 4 cord waxed thread. I lightly cased the folding point and placed some of my leather weights on it overnight. Interesting, I actually complete these projects ahead of the their debut on my blog to keep the site renewed with new projects and information. Thus said, in my message to the new owner wishing them a Happy New Year, I included a picture of the project. He was really excited and I thought his response was pretty cool. On to the next project, but first some experimenting since I am taking on another 'applique' project for an upcoming foundation benefit auction. Stay tune!
Saturday, January 7, 2012
After the liner was attached, I turned the project upside and used a small camouflage tool to decorate around the middle opening and the radius of the badge area. I then cut the slits for the stitching marks. These slits were cut at 5 stitches per inch.
Friday, January 6, 2012
I have taken a piece of 1.5 ounce veg-tan for the lining and glued it after applying two coats of Master Clear Cement. I also took a scarp piece of 3-4 ounce leather and cut it to fit as an interior business card holder. I used a small strap end cutter to create the 'u' cut. I also burnished the top of the pocket flap prior to gluing it onto the project. I also punched the whole for the badge post.