Monday, June 5, 2017

Map, Baltimore

I'm glad these maps are turning out to be popular anniversary gifts (especially for the third anniversary).  This client wanted to mark the spots they had met, proposed, and married their partner; all in the city of Baltimore!

I've been noticing that some of the maps I'd made for myself were starting to peel from the backings after a year or so.  That's not something I'm really happy about but the only way to step up the fastening was to stick something through the leather and the hardboard.  I could've used rivets for that and probably been alright but I thought stitching would look nicer.  This does mean drilling every single hole (until/unless I figure out something better) but it gets the job done!







Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lanyard, Personalized

Personalizing a lanyard seems like a great way to keep things organized!


Coins, Three Dragon Ante Set

The client's building a set to play Three Dragon Ante and settled on using different denominations in lieu of ordering 300 gold pieces.  The coin pouches seem to max out at at around 130 coins anyway so all the better!



Handbag for everything with the Kitchen Sink

My mother-in-law and I have been chatting for awhile about making a new leather handbag that would let her carry her entire kit (laptop, books, etc) all in one thing.  We went through a few drafts before settling on the details and the final measurements (5.5" deep x 13" tall x 17" wide).  I budgeted 60 hours (about a week) for the production which seemed pretty conservative at the start.  Thanks to a timing app I've been using this year I can look back and see that it took about 140 hours (in about two weeks).  So clearly I could be better at forecasting ETDs for big projects.


The shell of the purse, including feet and handles, was made from tan stone oiled leather that's got just the right mix of flexibility and rigidity.  The interior is a drop in lining (to allow for a pocket) made of poly-cotton and a deerskin edging that interfaces between the lining and shell.  Wrapping around the top is a carved strip with a sheridan-ish design featuring daffodils.


All that sheridan carving, especially with all that bargrounding, took about 3 days to finish.  Fortunately I'd already assembled some of the shell before I started the long strap that would go on the front of the bag.  All the measurements had been checked several times in the drafts but geometries have a fun way of warping with complex projects.  I realized the 27" strap I'd planned was going to be at least 3" short.  I added a couple inches for "wiggle room" and redrew the design for a 32" strap.




Most of the production time went into stitching everything together.  The feet complicated that a fair bit but I solved a lot of problems by assembling the shell while it was inside-out.  I ran into another hiccup stitching the lining into the shell.  At the start of all this the fabric was cut to mirror the peices that went into the shell.  Somewhere along the line the opening of the lining seems to have lost about an inch.  I rechecked the measurements and it wasn't a cutting error so I'm not sure where that inch or two went (maybe gobbled up by the crafting deities).  In any case, this left gaps in the sides and I used some cotton lining to cover them up and at least make them pretty.  That'll be something to watch for if I ever do a drop-in lining on such a large bag again.













Thursday, May 25, 2017

Buckle, A+K Brand

Oval Nickle buckle carved with a design from a woodburning provided by the client.  Should make for a nice anniversary gift.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Guitar Strap, Crawford

This was a fun commission.  The client wanted a guitar strap for a graduation gift and just had a few elements (cross, quote, name, and the fish) they wanted on it.  So I was able to "freestyle" the design connecting all those things as well as add a few elements myself.

Its been awhile since I made a guitar strap and I made a few changes from the old pattern.  Notably I replaced the pigskin lining with another strip of veg which I stained to match the latigo.  When all the laminating and beveling was done it's hard to tell that it's two pieces of leather back-to-back and not one double-sided strip.  And since the grain's going in different directions I imagine it'll help mitigate any elasticity.  Not that there should be much of that permitted by the stitching. 

In hindsight I might have given more thought to tinting the vines so there'd be more contrast but even if I had it would've been a pretty light tint.











Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Dice Pouch, spiky emblem

I admit I have no idea where this emblem came from.  The client provided it but it carves pretty nicely.  I tried to dress it up a touch by layering some stains very lightly but I don't think that comes through the pictures.