Leather Crafting is not just a “hobby” as most will say. I would say it runs along the lines of rebuilding classic cars.
Is it a hobby?
Is it expensive?
I started with a small kit from Tandy Leather. You can find them in Hobby Lobby and each kit comes with different tools and patterns to help the novice leathermaker. It is not just a “Summer Camp” or “Boyscout” thing. It is a dying artform like so many before it. I feel an obligation to somehow gather the little info that I do know and put out for the world to see.
We all covet the convenience of the item and scoff at the price that handmade artists charge not fully understanding the level of dedication that goes into each piece. When I began this journey, I wanted to be a bracelet maker. Just regular ole hand stamped bracelets and my kit was a good intro. I bought some stamps at Hobby Lobby and wish I had bought some smaller ones. However, with the lack of good leather suppliers in my area I decided that these would work for now.
I created these intial bracelets. An extremeley novice design but the sense of pride I felt that I created something really long lasting was addicting. I dabbled here and there with stamping. I found an amazing tutorial on painting. I find that chipboard stamps work well but I suppose it depends on how thick the leather is and how well it is cased.
I am still doing alot of research on Leather Carving and there is so little of it outside of obscure books and manuals. From what I can gather there are at least 4 distinctive carving styles
1) Sheridan Style or Western Floral
2) Picture Carving
3) Figure Carving
4) Victorian Carving
These are some of the basic categories that I have found on the Internet. However, with all leather crafting there is the ability to adapt the old with the new. I decided to start these simple Intro to Leather Posts in order to keep a beautiful craft alive. Each day, the masters pass on. Each day we lose a little more knowledge.
I suppose that someone needs to write down what they learned and where they failed. I am by no means an expert. I am an apprentice and the internet is my leather mentor.
Sometimes, we Just need to take some leather and work it out.