Stetson912

Tooling practice/critique

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I've been trying to practice my floral carving. It's getting better but I'm just not getting the smoothness and depth I want. This piece is 8/10oz skirting. My tools are limited but I've ordered a few that hopefully will help (not that my technique is flawless or anything). Any insight on what I can do to improve, technique wise, is greatly appreciated.

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YinTx   

While it is still wet, after tooling, take a modeling spoon to all the cut edges to round out the lines where you have beveled.  I think that will make things look a lot better.

YinTx

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DJole   

You're using a textured pear shader, right? Is that a deliberate choice or because you don't have a smooth pear shader?
All that texture seems to muddy the shapes. 

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Yeah I just chose the textured tools. I don't like my beveler either because it's coarsely checkered. I do have a smooth shader somewhere I'll have to try it. I didn't think of the texture interfering but now that you mention it I think that's exactly what I don't like. It does get miluddy and loses definition. That's a good point. I feel like I just have the wrong tools. I got some coming though so we will see. 

I'll also try the modeling spoon idea. Sounds like a good thought to me. 

I struggle with backgrounding and knowing how deep to cut in my pattern. My knife skills seem to be ok, but I don't have anyone to show me how to do this or tell me when I'm doing it wrong. Haha.

Thanks for the ideas!

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alpha2   

I was also going to say that there are precious few spaces that aren't textured. Sometimes, less is more. A little more space between the mulesfoot impressions will tone it down a bit also. I too have a problem with trying to do too much. Then, when I see some work with little tooling/texturing, I'm amazed.

Jeff

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Yeah, i do try too much. I think I might be a bit heavy handed too, smashing tools into the leather haha. Maybe I'll get it one of these days. 

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terrymac   

Biggest problem I can see your swivel cuts are not deep enough to show any relief after beveling.  Your cut depths should be at least thirty percent of the thickness of the leather, preferably more.

Hope this helps,

Terry

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Thanks terrymac. I thought I was cutting deep enough  but it's very possible I just thought I was haha.ill try to cut deeper next go. 

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@terrymac, you were right. My knife wasn't sharp enough so it made cutting deep enough difficult. After a quick sharpening it is looking better with the practice cuts and bevels I did. 

 

I'll post another picture of some tooling when I have time to do it. Thanks everyone!

 

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Had sometime tonight. I think it's better but still needs work. Still not "popping"like I want it too. The next step will be better leather. The stuff I'm using isn't good by any means haha. And the new tools I'm still getting used too. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

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terrymac   

Whole lot better. Next order of business is smoothing out your beveling. You don't want to see individual tool marks as around the top of your petals. Someone will tell you to use a modeling spoon to smooth, but that doesn't work when you use a checked beveler, as I do 90 percent of the time.  Just keep practicing, and you will get it. The other area to work is uniform spacing of the veiner marks around the scroll.  I cheat, I got some old prickng wheels and use those to mark individual tool marks placement.  

Hope this helps,

Terry

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garypl   
1 hour ago, terrymac said:

Whole lot better. Next order of business is smoothing out your beveling. You don't want to see individual tool marks as around the top of your petals. Someone will tell you to use a modeling spoon to smooth, but that doesn't work when you use a checked beveler, as I do 90 percent of the time.  Just keep practicing, and you will get it. The other area to work is uniform spacing of the veiner marks around the scroll.  I cheat, I got some old prickng wheels and use those to mark individual tool marks placement.  

Hope this helps,

Terry

Terry - thanks for the tip about the using a pricking wheel to space the veined marks - I am going to try that!

Stetson - definitely improved your carving on this one.  I agree about the type of leather making a big difference - just started a new project with a new piece of leather and a new swivel knife from Leather Wranglers and there is a noticeable difference in how easily the knife glides through the leather.

Gary

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Thanks everyone. I was using a 3/8 thin hollow ground and switched to my 1/4 angle blade. It helped keep my cuts more uniform and it turns better in the leather for me. This leather doesn't burnish very well either. I'm thinking of ordering some Hermann oak bellies for tooling practice. 

I will work on my beveling. I'm good with the larger beveler, the smaller one needs practice, as does my bar grounding haha. Thanks for the veiners tip too.  I'll post more when I can give it another go. 

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