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.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

DM Toolbox, Black & Red

It's been awhile since I've made a toolbox and certainly time for a few changes to the build.  For one thing, now that I have a much better 3D printer I was able to add some decor to the corner caps.  Didn't even need to wrap them all up in tape and weathering.  Due to the material I had on hand I had to use some cuts that weren't as clean as I might prefer.  The solution there was the extra bit of leather under the emblem.  It's another piece of vegtan and even stained in more or less the same way as the emblem.  It's just flipped so the flesh side faces out, giving it a different texture.  I like the effect but don't know if it's something I'll ever do often.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Dog Collar for Radric

Radric's a nice looking pit bull who'd outgrown his previous collar.  I'm guessing he has a thing for ice cream too since the client was very keen on having it on the collar.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dice Pouch, Star Wars meets D&D

This pouch was a gift for the client's spouse and all I really had to go on was that they were a fan of Star Wars and D&D and the pouch should mostly be black.  I manipulated the Star Wars font into some initials and tossed in some crossed swords for good measure.  Voila!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Handrawn Map

For anyone who follows me on twitter this is probably old news.  As soon as work let up enough to permit me the time I took a cartography course offered by Deven Rue (details at  I've made lots of maps from scratch but usually the whole process happened in the computer.  Ms. Rue draws her maps by hand and aside from the different technique it was exciting to see how someone else approaches the same problems.

I couldn't guess how long it took to draw the map since it I worked on it a couple hours at a time over the course of at least a week.  I had a vague idea of what I wanted when I started and starting with a pencil (as opposed to a mouse) made it pretty easy to play with things on the fly.

I bought a set of micron pens and some heavy vellum paper for just this sort of project.  Using the two together there's a sort of subtle texturing to the lines that, again, wouldn't necessarily come out of a map drawn on the PC.  Of course, it took forever to ink all those trees and do some of the shading and details but probably not that much longer than it would've taken on the computer when I think about it.

I'm pretty happy with the result on its own and I've noted some things I can improve on when I get the opportunity to draw another map.  In the meantime, I took advantage of having a high resolution scan to add some color and detailing.  Now it'll probably sit about gathering dust until I can pull it out and make use of it in some future campaign.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Buckles, Ski Patrol

I guess someone's having a party on the slopes in Colorado!  They cleared me out of buckles so hopefully I can restock before the next order comes in.