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About Charke

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LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Leather armor
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  1. Having resigned from Tandy Leather Factory to explore costuming work, I leave behind a little something for them to remember me by. All Tandy products of course. It was a chance to use up some of that Edge Coat they sold me years ago and we both thought it was a new black dye. Mark Charke
  2. That's a good idea. I'm going to need to make a wider strap but that will work. I have a thin trap which would work for a traditional button/slot, but I want the hole to be big enough to fit the whole button so you can manipulate it with one hand. And Multiple buttons could add some adjustment ability. Thanks.
  3. Barbarian Armor Suit

    I didn't even look at your logo. I saw the picture and went - "ahah, another Prince Armories design." Your armors look less like riveted leather and more like organic structures. They really are amazing. When I look around to steal ideas or find something cool to try create, I like to stop at your photos.The fur is a nice touch. It really sets the peice off. Mark Charke
  4. Lamellar Armor

    I love functional armor and the fact that you're thinking about how to overlap and that you used wax hardening. That's really cool. Mark Charke
  5. Oh I figured you used one of the stamps to get that look. Cool idea. That armor is amazing. Mark Charke
  6. Black Belt With White Letters

    I have dyed projects all black and then done white accylic over top. It has worked but it's the lazy way. The alternative is being really, really careful to make sure the black doesn't get onto the white area. If the white area is partially black and the rest tan leather color, it tends to show through the paint. If that happens you are almost better just making it all black, letting it dry and then painting white accylic on top. It really depends on your paints though and you might have to experiment. You basically can't use white dye over black dye. You'd actually have to use white accrylic paint. I figured it would just crack or flake off but I've had good results. The accylic paint does soak into the leather but it is more suseptible to scratches. If you've got a steady hand and good brushes, painting the dyes separately is probably the safest way. It's when you make a mistake that you might turn to the accylic paints. I didn't try them until I destroyed a scabbard (I grabbed the wrong dobber and when to town black instead of tan.) Mark Charke
  7. Scabbard For Larp Dagger

    I love that people mistake Latex weapons for real ones. We had an off-duty ghost car pull over and grab one of our guys walking home. Dude was wearing real scale mail and carrying a latex two handed sword over his shoulder walking down the street to the bus. He explained things to the officer and everything was fine. I love the sheath. I've made a few simple ones and the short and long strap make a lot more sence to me now. I have a simple trick for weathering my gear.... ....I just LARP in it a lot. I figure you got that texture on the strap by rolling or curling it and then dying it? Mark Charke
  8. First time making shoulder armor

    If you use Chicago screws, grab some lock-tite and make sure it has the highest strength. The stuff I use is Red, but it might be different where you are. I am also very happy to see the inside. I have written a number of leather workers and asked for pictures of the inside of their armor. It shows the most important bits! These look very sturdy. That looks like 16oz leather, probably water hardened? I like that you took the time and care to dye the inside as well. It's something you only see if the armor is damaged or when it is being taken on or off, but it adds a lot to it. Pauldrons (covering the arm pit) or Spauldings (no armpit) are a very forgiving peice of armor I have found. A single adjustable strap around under the far arm pit/chest keeps them very secure, unless they are too small and they start floating around, but these ones look to be a good size and shape. Sometimes you need a strap around the arm if they go down the arm far enough. The shoulders are quite possibly the most often struck location (most systems of combat tend to avoid head strikes) so it's some of my favorite armor. Also they just make you look so much bigger and tougher. Mark Charke
  9. One More Out The Door

    I love covers and that one is awesome.
  10. I've produced a bracer that looks like it is made of wood and I want the whole theme to be wood and leather, so I don't want any metal in the peice. I don't like laces for bracers. You either need help tying them each time or have to tie a knot one-handed. Also leather lace breaks and without metal eyelets will cut into the leather eventually. I want to use straps. I can lace them or stitch them on, but I need a connection that isn't metal or lace. Bone or wood is fine but it's going to get soaked (I live in BC). Can anyone think of a connection system, two straps, for bracers that can be manipulated one-handed, with no metal parts? Mark Charke
  11. Removing Dye From Leather

    I have used plain old accrylic (water based) paints straight onto leather to fix color problems. It will soak into the leather and it will cover the previous color. You can wax over it and it won't wash off. I've never had any trouble with this comming off in the rain or scratching off but I've never soaked or really gouged an accylic project either. I'm sure it isn't as resiliant as dye. I've done a lot of masks with accrylics. The finish is different than with dye so it really depends what kind of project you are doing. I wouldn't touch accrylics for a saddle or straps but I might consider it for the right type of bag or masquerade masks. I've combined dye coloring and accrylic coloring for some really strong coloring jobs. Mark Charke
  12. New Helmet

    Thanks for the picture! That answered a lot of questions! That is some very thick leather you are using. That must be 16oz. Do you pad the helmet in anyway or is that what the arming cap is for? Mark Charke
  13. New Helmet

    That's a really nice lid! I love the blue scales. I would love a picture of the inside of the helmet, wink, wink. I love to see how these things work. The coloring is just amazing. When I use blue it turns a sort of gasoline-rainbow purple color. I'm going to have to change dye makers and see if it stops. Everything comes together really nicely in this helmet. I love the chainmail. It's a good mix of fantasy meets medieval. Mark Charke
  14. My First Mask

    That's a great first try mask. That would be a great 10th try mask. I like really shiny leather so I would tend to polish it up, but it's already got a respectable shine so that's just personal preference. I might look into an airbrush. Everyone doing masks seems to be using them to create those amazing gradient colors, fading from one to another. It's something I've been thinking about doing but it really looks like you've got it. I met a guy at a convention doing masks and he used Gesso on the inside of his masks to protect them from sweat. Perhaps other people here can comment about that. I haven't tried it yet but I've got some old masks that are looking a little haggard on the inside. Keep up the great work! Mark Charke