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  1. Ok. Here they are, I think they're reversed though. The FIRST one is the "improved" one. The SECOND one is the old one from July.
  2. Way back in July I posted a figure carving I was frustrated with and I needed help/critique. A lot of people came through for me, but especially user immiketoo, with a video from his site learnleather.com. I encourage everybody to go here if you need videos about figure carving and using a modeling spoon. The modeling spoon video he gave me was invaluable in the improvements I made. So here are two figure carvings: both are the same deer pattern. The first one is the one I uploaded back in July asking for help. I did not have the figure carving bevelers, or a good modeling spoon. The second one is after watching immiketoo's video, buying figure carving bevelers, and also buying Peter Main's modeling spoon just this month. I got busy with school and couldn't afford the modeling spoon for awhile, so this is why it took so long for me to make another attempt. However I believe this carving is already much better. Anyway here they are, and if anybody has any further critiques or suggestions for improvements, feel free to share. Edit: the uploader isn't working. My files are under the size limit but the website disagrees for some reason. I'm going to see if I can post them underneath in the comments.
  3. Thanks everybody, yes I think a nice quality printer paper might do it just fine then. Thanks for mentioning grain direction, I hadn't even thought of that.
  4. Lol it's funny because mine aren't cut or beveled, I did use the modeling spoon. It still came out looking odd... I think I need to see a video about using the modeling tool.
  5. I'm going to bind carved leather journals. I just need to know does anybody have suggestions about what type of paper to use, and where to buy it from. They will be a little shorter than your traditional Moleskine notebook but about the same width, idk if that matters. I was going to maybe just use printer paper and trim it to size but idk if maybe I should be using something nicer since they're handmade and all (if you think it's fine to use printer paper let me know though!) Also, if anybody knows of any good tutorials for different binding methods that would also be nice (I already know a couple but I'm always looking for different options). I will not be doing any super involved/advanced bindings though, I'm mostly just interested in the kind where you sew the paper into the spine with waxed thread.
  6. Does anybody have this stencil or something similar to it? The letters are very small. So I'm just thinking, are you supposed to press these into the leather and then do nothing else, and the words will just stay there even though they're shallow? Even after dying and finishing? They are way too small to cut with a swivel knife. It would make it just look like a mess if I tried. So it just seems like maybe you just press them into the leather and you're done. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  7. Bodean has a point though. I ended up dropping out of music school but that hard-ass mentality stuck with me for good, and if I'm not careful I get way too hard on myself and stuck on what I'm doing wrong instead of moving forward. I gotta chill out a little bit tbh. Piano and French horn here, going on 20 years. Formal music training kinda messed me up because you talk about finding "strengths", but in music school you have to make everything your strength, you're expected to be perfect lol. You're not allowed to have any weaknesses. Sometimes that discipline is good to have, but sometimes it really backfires lol. If something isn't "clicking" for me I and I can't figure it out, I can become demotivated. Gotta work on that and just keep going lol.
  8. Well it's my first figure carving attempt, but I've done sheridan and Celtic knots a couple times. Thanks, that's what people keep saying, but I come from a formal music background, and in music they say you have to "practice smart", always identifying and analyzing what you've done wrong, or else you might reinforce bad habits and go backwards! It's probably made me a bit hard on myself in other artistic endeavors lol. So when I felt unhappy with this deer and couldn't pinpoint what was wrong, boy it's frustrating for me lol, it's hard to just move on. I'll sure try to lighten up a bit and not give up lol.
  9. Well I've been working on him. I'm still not sure if I'm using the modeling spoon correctly but I think he looks a lot better now regardless. It bugs me how I did the eye though. I can't "un-carve" it, but next time I'll try to do the eye like Yak Lady did in that thread about horses. I added some hair texture but I'm still not quite happy with the muscle lines. I suppose I might need the special bevelers for that.
  10. Thanks, I'll take a look, I don't think I've seen this site before. That's very helpful Thank you. Well actually as I mentioned, I'm not really quite sure how the modeling spoon works. I've examined Al Stohlman's instructions for it, but I find I'm not really getting the concept of it because the pictures in the books look so flat...I can't really tell what the edges ought to look like. If you think that's what's bothering me though I will certainly try and find a video or something.
  11. 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.
  12. I have already posted this piece on the "critique" part of the forums, but then I noticed there was one especially for Sheridan work, so I thought I would put it here too. Folks on the "critique" board have already advised me that my leather was too wet when I was carving it. This is the one major thing I'm going to have to watch out for on my next one. Since people on this board specialize in Sheridan style though, I must know if there are any additional Sheridan-specific tips for when I try this again. Are there any must-have blades, stamps, or other tools I should know about? I have most of the Al Stohlman books but only a VERY basic beginner collection of tools. I feel that my carving looks very blocky and clumsy. Aside from just practicing, maybe there is something I'm doing that's just totally wrong (besides the leather being too wet)?
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