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  1. Hello! I am just starting out, and for my first project, I am trying to make an underbust corset with a crescent moon and star design (Mord Sith cosplay from the Sword of Truth series). I attempted the basic design on a scrap piece of 4/5 oz veg tanned, but I have not purchased any figure carving tools yet, so I attempted using my set of modeling tools to tool it with very poor results. With that being said, are there some basic figure carving tools that I should invest in which will be useful in many different projects? I am thinking of getting a midsized pear shader (P217 Craftool Pear Shader Stamp) and a square shaped beveler (B200 Craftool Beveler Stamp). Also, the main body of the underbust will be oxblood red. I have Fiebing's Leather Dye in Oxblood for that. The moon and star need to be yellow- I have the EcoFlo Cova Color in yellow. My question- should I dye it all with the oxblood so I don't get weird streaks from trying to work around, and then do several coats of the yellow over that? Or should I avoid dying an area that needs to be painted? I have attached photos of the inspiration for my costume as well as my first attempt at the moon and star design. I know I need a lot of practice on scrap
  2. ONLINE LEATHER CARVING CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT! If you're like many people, the idea of carving faces gives you nightmares. This class is designed to help you get over the fear of making Aunt Myrtle look like Uncle Marv. Or the family dog. Or whatever. Join me as we embark on part on of a facial feature series! This class is $25.00 and will be at least an hour long. As always, there will be a recording available if you cannot attend. Please register for Facial Features-Part One: Eyes on Thursday, August 17, 2017 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM CDT at: https://attendee.gototraining.com/r/3511349041589877250 The eyes are the window to the soul. This is true in any art medium, and throughout history, eyes have helped artists capture the breadth of human emotion. Join Mike Dale in this multi-part study on carving faces. Part one will explore how to carve realistic looking eyes. Mike will discuss artwork selection, realistic vs. cartoon eyes, carving techniques, tool selection, common mistakes and answer any questions you might have. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the training.
  3. It's a design from one of those Al Stohlman stencils, I'm not designing my own yet. It's 9oz leather. It just doesn't look right. I feel like I'm doing something wrong. I used to have an issue where I was tooling with the leather way too wet, so I stopped doing that and all my work looks improved, but I still feel like something is not "clicking"? Like I'm missing something about this. I have most of the Al Stohlman books including Figure Carving Finesse. Sometimes it's a bit overwhelming and confusing though, and most of all I wish I could see his work in real life, because I stare at the flat photos in the books and I wonder how deep the cuts are and such...and sometimes it's hard to make out what effect he's trying to teach? I feel like I need to see and touch to really understand, but that's not possible...I don't know any leatherworkers in my area either. I feel like maybe I'm striking too hard or cutting too deep? Beveling too deep? Using the wrong bevelers? Stohlman recommends certain specific bevelers for figure carving, but I don't have those exact ones (yet). I have these straight bevelers, B935 and the bigger/wider version of that one. Will it really look THAT much better if I use the triangle-shaped "figure bevelers" Stohlman says to use? Also I don't know what Stohlman means when he talks about using the modeling tool to "smooth and round off edges" of the beveling. Like, I see this ledge that occurs when you bevel, but I don't really understand how to make it round, when I try to use the modeling tool on it it just feels like I'm making the image less dynamic and pressing the edges down so they don't stand out as much. idk if that makes sense. Obviously the lines inside the animal (supposed to be muscle definition) is a hot mess. Also I suppose I should add some fur texture? So idk. Any and all advice and critique is welcomed. I kinda like how this turned out because I really like working with thick leather, it allows a lot of depth which is fun, but I still feel like I'm not understanding something about it.
  4. By the end of the week I am expecting to receive the following in the post: A cheap (Chinese made, with probable Japanese influence) beginner's sett of leather working tools from Ebay A remnant/pieces pack of leather, needles, and thread from The Identity Store A copy of "The Leatherworking Handbook" by Valerie Michael from Amazon Yet to acquire from the local chain DIY store (probably nearer the time, or on Sunday if it slips my mind before then which is likely to happen) are: wood and fixings to make a cheap stitching pony Evo-Stik Time Bond contact adhesive an Oilstone (or similar) for inevitable initial sharpening of previously mentioned tools as well as general upkeep later on miscellaneous things that catch my eye which may be helpful such as clamps, sandpaper, straight edge etc Other things yet to be appropriated into my "kit": worksurface stuff (cutting mat, poly board, granite (or similar)) decent desk lamp as most of my work will be completed in the late evening/small hours after finishing the late shift at "the day job" and goodness knows my eyes will need all the help they can get edge slicking substance graph/grid paper for when I feel up to making my own patterns bone folder type tool stitching awl Things I already have, yet to be consolidated together: poly mallet basic geometry set (ruler, square, compases etc) pencils large toolbox for storage stack of "craft" drawers for storage non-marring spudger set which I'm sure will come in handy for poking/prodding in crevices metal bodied Utility knife (and blades) Extra Virgin Olive Oil in lieu of more specialist finishes tonnes of old clothes for rags Things I will probably get at a later date once I get a feel for everything (this does not include ad hoc replacement/upgrading of any of the above when needed): butcher's block style work station (as I'll mostly be working at my 10yr old pine desk in my bedroom initially, maybe out in the shed weather permitting) relevant dyes, treatments, etc and relevant applicators basic carving tools (I do not plan on getting into this much but I guess it's always handy to be able pop a pretty border on something special) ___ I know the cost of starting a new hobby from scratch is always going to be a major consideration, but it seems leathercraft is even more so. Yes I know it's no good moaning to other people who have all been there/done that, but starting out on a shoe string is still likely to cost me upwards of £100 ($125 for you colonials ). Being the sort of person I am, often doing things on a whim, and generally cautious with cash, I do not want to go to the lengths that some do and get The Works in terms of equipment and materials to start with. I don't want to spend a small fortune on something if I don't end up getting decently into it to justify the cost. That said, it seems the general advice in terms of initial outlay is "get the best you can afford" and that's what I'm doing I suppose. I guess there are those out there who have started out with much less, and I have no need nor reason trying to justify what I'm doing. I guess in a way I'm secretly hoping that I get sufficiently good enough at the whole "leather thing" that in the long run I can start going to fairs, events, do made-to-order and the like, and be able to become (at least partially) self employed. But that's definitely a long way off. I think for me leathercraft will always be a matter of being on a shoestring, at least in the sense of trying to get the best from the least. I've always been enthralled by the way craftsmen of all disciplines in years gone-by have come up with ingenious solutions which even centuries or millennia haven't changed much, and as much as possible I want to keep what I do "low-tech": drawing up templates by hand rather than using PC software, using as traditional methods and tools as possible, and if possible trying to be authentic in style/process with any historical based pieces I produce. I (like to think) I am fairly good at improvising, and this will also keep costs down. Who needs a £40 edge slicker when a double-pronged piece of deer antler (free if you know where/when to look) will do? Or expensive black dyes if you can master the likes of vinegaroon and lampblack?
  5. This was a custom order I finished recently. The customer wanted a notebook with a turkey and a deer carving on it because her husband likes to hunt both animals in Kansas. She also wanted turkey tracks to appear on it somehow. Finally it needed the message 'Love Mom, 2015' inside because it was really going to be a birthday gift from his Mom to her husband and she was just organizing it. Sound complicated enough? After a few practice carvings to get the turkey and landscape right, this is what I came up with. Apparently the husband was thrilled with it.
  6. I am carving a fantasy serpent breaking the water after a fish, i want the mouth half open and the bottom jaw just breaking the water! But i cannot get the water to look right! Any tips? I will post picks, but they are messy as i am trying a whole mess of techniques!
  7. Here's one I finished a few weeks ago. It is a leather notebook designed to hold an 8 1/2 x 11 refillable notepad. The front is a full floral design and the back has an inset pictorial carving of a mountain scene surrounded by basketweave stamping. The outer leather and interior pocket are Herman Oak, with a pigskin lining. The outer edge is laced with Whiskey colored Kangaroo lace from Packer in Australia. I made this as an entry in the World Leather Debut show in Sheridan, WY this year. It didn't place but it did score pretty well and I'm happy with it, though I do see a lot of room for improvement. I made it for my personal use so the customer is satisfied. The notebook was antiqued and in the pictures it looks pretty uneven, but most of that is just not setting up very good lighting when I took the pictures. Overall it came out pretty even color. Thanks, Bob
  8. Native Woman Portrait

    Hi y'all! Wanted to share an update of my current leather project. Native woman on leather canvas with braided hair and black opals for her eyes. If you are so inclined, please check out my website and join my bi-monthly "newsleather" to stay abreast on all my current and future classic leather creations! www.classicleathercreations.com Happy Leather Working! Brett C.
  9. Hey Ya'll! Wanted to share my latest figure carving... It's of my wife when she's "Hangry." Hah! Just kidding. A beautiful image of the once majestic California Grizzly bear. Happy carving! Brett C.
  10. Hi y'all! Attached is my finished first attempt at figure carving as well as incorporating the Mexican Basketweave lacing technique. I learned a lot during this process mainly what not to do next time. I.e. I will make rounded corners on the leather canvas so the lacing will cover them nicely and tightly. Is there anyway to get the lace closer together? Does it depend how I space the lacing slits? I will always be my toughest critic but I am very happy with how "Buddy" turned out. Like I said before, I've taken notes on things that I will change or improve on in the next project. Feedback is welcomed. Happy crafting! Brett C.
  11. Hi y'all! Attached is my finished first attempt at figure carving as well as incorporating the Mexican Basketweave lacing technique. I learned a lot during this process mainly what not to do next time. I.e. I will make rounded corners on the leather canvas so the lacing will cover them nicely and tightly. Is there anyway to get the lace closer together? Does it depend how I space the lacing slits? I will always be my toughest critic but I am very happy with how "Buddy" turned out. Like I said before, I've taken notes on things that I will change or improve on in the next project. Feedback is welcomed. Happy crafting! Brett C.
  12. Heart Of Montana

    Here is a project that I recently finished. Some of you may have followed its construction on Facebook. I wanted to post the finished piece here for others to see. I was asked by some friends to share what happened with this leather carving. This carving has found a home in Montana. It raised $4250.00 for the Great Falls Symphony Association at their Black Tie and Blue Jeans event on March 8th. The money that was raised goes toward their Education and Outreach Programs. This piece of art generated more activity and funds than any of the other items offered that evening. You can find out a bit more about what went into piece and why it is titled "Heart of Montana" by visiting http://elktracks.net/shop/print You can also get information on the prints that are now available.
  13. Stall Name Plate

    A name plate for a horse's stall done for a friend of mine. I drew the original design in my sketchbook, and will be painting it this week. Still working on carving letters...not my favorite thing.
  14. Einstein Portrait

    College professor at UTD sent me a pic and asked for me to put it on leather. She's happy with it and I may make one for me, I like the way he looks in leather!
  15. Fossil Fish #4, Brutus

    This is #4 in the Fossil Fish series. 6oz leather, resolene resist, saddle tan finish