Sunday, November 6, 2016
Dragon Embossed Notebook
Hello all, I hope you all had a great summer. Now, that we have retreated away from the Sun down here in Texas, I can get to some other 'have to do's' that come with moving homes. On the teaching side, the months have been busy and I am seeing more people getting involved or re-involved with leather craft.
For this blog spot, I have decided to share with your a special project that I completed some time back as a gift to my youngest as she approached her senior year in high school. As you can see in the picture above, it appears a bit complicated, but really if you understand how leather works and the basics of embossing leather you can achieve a similar project.
As you can see, I was hindered at the drawing stage, which is where I contemplate my projects a great deal. I actually drew up three different images, but decided on the second one pictured here.
Since these projects require a large amount of leather, I decided to make this binder out of three pieces of leather, which would be easier to work with and could be pieced together. After making sure my leather was properly moisten, I transferred my pattern onto the front piece of leather and proceeded to carve it using my swivel knife.
I then re-wet the center portion of this design surrounding the circle and dragon to prepare it for the first stage of embossing it from the back side. While the surrounding area of the pictorial drawing was still backed with tape to make sure it would not stretch, I decided to bevel the lettering inverted.
You can see the nice lift that I was able to get during a couple of rounds of pushing from the backside using my modeling spoon. I then decided to bevel all of the lines around the circle. In between the beveling, I would occasionally emboss the dragon and moon to make sure it kept its shape.
Once I achieved my results of embossing and beveling, I used an A104 & A105 matting tool to drop down the background areas around the Dragon and Moon. By doing this step, it allowed some relief to make sure that the focal points (Dragon & Moon) stood out from the center design. For the extra steps within the circle lines, I took a basket weave tool and at an angle I laid out this design. Not to intricate, but I thought it was a nice tooling add for this project.
For the spine, I wanted to give it one focal point in the design, so I chose to go with the name of the school mascot......Dragons!
Finally, for the back panel, I decided to take a cue from a recent article in the Leather Crafters & Saddlers Journal from Chan Geer to use my Clay Miller 'Box' tool. I also decided to center my marker's mark with a bit of decoration around it.
Now, I had to decided on the colors to use for this design. One absolute color had to be mahogany, which happens to be the main school color. I took a break to decide on the painting stages.
I used Mahogany for the background color around the word 'Dragons.' I then used a bit of red hue mixtures to color the interior of the leathers and finally accented the word Dragons with a bit of white.
The back panel just received a coat of finish and was put aside. The front panel was another story. I started with the red hue mixture for the inverted lettering......as most of us can pick out errors in our project.....I list mine here publicly! I decided to go with a light black color for the background knowing that it would fade over time. Somehow my mixture came out darker than expected, but.....well....it was already painted on.
As you can see I added a few more colors with the exception of the gills, which I left as natural leather for contrast. The body of the dragon was painted using the same red hue mixture. The Dragon's tongue was painted with a red color and teeth with the same white used on the number '2016.' I then took a mixture of light gray to paint the moon above the dragon. Finally, I took a dry brush technique using black and brush in between the scales and other creases around the design. I also used the same technique to give the moon some movement within the gray color.
Here is an added tip for this blog post. Since I knew that this project will be pounced on, I wanted to make sure that the gills stayed up as much as possible. So I took some cotton off a Q-tip and stuff the lifted areas using my awl. The other good thing about this product was that I was able to dye underneath the lift part to give it some shadowing effect.
Once the final finish was added to the front panel, I hand sewed the three pieces together and installed the liner and three ring binder. This project was completed and put to use.
As always, I appreciate the follows and your continual support! Blog on.....