Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Part 3: Tooling Leather For The House Of Dragon

           Alright, this part TOOK way, way longer than I expected. I realized doing this project how spoiled I've gotten not having to hand-tool leather on a regular basis. All the leather pieces were cut from the pattern in part two, then wetted and had a dragon pattern hand-cut into them with a mallet and chisel. That's a lot of beating things with a metal stick. A lot of people think that this is an instant process instead of a couple of hours per piece.
             The best part of this process though, was it gave me a chance to use one of my favorite old school pattern drafting tools: my light box. To use a light box, take your original photo, outline the major lines with an ink pen, trace and copy onto hard oak tag, and press the final pattern into the leather with a punch. The carve A LOT. A swivel knife is popular for this point, then the 3D pattern is beaten into the thick leather with a rubber mallet and stamps. Sadly, since it's all the same color it's hard to see the detail before dying. Tomorrow...looking at the finished product dyed before it's burnished and sealed with beeswax. I was going to do a leather tutorial on this, but without access to a light box...I really don't see this being something most people can do.

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