Flask complete!

I went back and tweaked the compass gear design one more time – I decided to use a gear that has more teeth.

I also gave the pattern a boarder.

Next, I traced the pattern onto the leather.  I just went over the trace with a ball point pen this time, and it worked pretty well.

Next I carved the pattern into the leather with the swivel knife.

Then beveling and using the background tool on the inside of the gear.

I used a new, smaller beveler on the gear teeth.  I like the lined pattern that it makes.  Of course, when I background the outside of the gear, those lines will go away.  I’ll have to find a project that will let me show that detail at some point.

Next, I used a “geometric stamp” on the left and right flaps of this piece of leather.

The imprint left by the tool is actually a small X shape.  But when used in succession as I did here, the strikes form a square (a geometric shape – hence the name).

Then it was time for the last bit of tooling – the background between the boarder and the central pattern.

Happily, I used a bigger background tool for this larger space, or it would have taken a REALLY long time.  I also used the spoon shaped end of the modeling tool that came with my kit to round the edges of the boarder and compass arms.

Next step: fun with leather dye.

On the background, I used a dark brown.  I used the resist technique and a light brown dye on the compass points.   The gear and the rest are dyed “saddle tan.”  And then I applied the finisher to seal in the stain.  I learned a couple of really interesting things this time out:

  • Using the background tool makes the leather quite porous.   Which, you know, I should have expected from a tool which effectively pokes a bunch of holes into a surface.   Thus, it took a lot of dye to get a good dark color, and it took a REALLY long time to dry.
  • The saddle tan dye doesn’t work the same way as my water based dyes.  I stained part of our living room table with an inadvertent spill.  I also stained part of the kitchen sink when I was cleaning everything up.
  • The finisher darkens up the dye just a bit.
The next day was Saturday, so I took my leather to class at Tandy and learned how to affix this to it’s intended home – a shiny new flask.

Super washed out background!

I used some contact cement on the flaps, and then stitched the whole thing together.   I learned that you do leather stitching with  two needles.  You center the thread at the start, and then work from both ends – like lacing up a pair of shoes.

And here is the finished product:

One steampunk flask, perfect for costumed occasions, camping, and parties of all sorts!

Now, for a test drive…

A perfect pair!

Thus ends my first completed leather project!  I’m quite pleased with the outcome.  I figure I’ll use it maybe twice a year, but it was a good sized project to go through all of the steps of leathercrafting.  If you want to see the pictures with more detail, look through the album.

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Published in: on September 25, 2011 at 9:13 pm  Comments (1)  
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Compass – Second draft

Today, I took another stab at my compass and gear pattern.  First, I made the whole thing smaller, because what I had before would not fit on the flask on which I eventually intend to use the design.  Second, I made the background gear smaller.  This is the trace:

And third, I did a much better job with the dye this time:

I kept the color scheme from last time, but this time I applied it more carefully.   I wiped away the excess and buffed it a bit to smooth out the color.  And this time I used regular black, instead of raisin, for the empty part of the gear.   I applied a proper coat of finisher on top of the colors when I was done.  I like it.

I need to be more careful with the cutting, though.  If the gear looks lopsided, that’s because it is – I accidentally undercut some of my trace lines and made one side thinner than the other.   I tried to fix it with the beveling, but I don’t think it worked.

Now need to figure out what to do with the rest of the flask.

Published in: on September 11, 2011 at 12:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Compass – First draft

I’ve got an idea for a steampunk design that I’d like to put on a flask – a compass over a gear.

I’m still tweaking the design, but I decided to use the general idea to practice.

Here’s the pattern on leather:

Not my best trace job ever, but hopefully some clean work with the swivel knife can save it.

That looks a bit better.  Then beveling and interior backgrounding:

And then I decided to play with color.  This is the first time I’ve tried out the dyes that came with my little kit, so I experimented with different things.

This is a crummy picture – it is blurry, and a bit of a mish mash of color.   Most of the darker sides of the compass arms are stained dark brown.   For comparison, I also died one of those sides black (not like you can tell in this picture).   In the future, I’ll save the black for background work and accents.

On the lighter side of the compass arms, I’m tyring what is called a “resist” technique to preserve the natural color of the leather.  Instead of applying a chemical called a “finisher” on top of a piece of dyed leather – to seal in the dye – you apply it directly to the leather.  It works well for what is supposed to be the lightest part of this design.

The gear is dyed a lighter brown called “saddle tan.”  I like it next to the resist – next time I try this pattern, I think I’ll use that pair the compass arms and make the gear dark brown.

The background area is stained with a dye called “raisin.”  I thought it was going to be the equivalent of the black, but it looks like it’s going to dry a very dark purple.  Hence the name, I suppose.

And that’s all for today.  Happy Labor Day weekend, folks.

Published in: on September 4, 2011 at 10:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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