Monday, June 30, 2014

Cool & Collected Coasters

Coasters seem like the classic introductory item to leatherworking, though these are almost the first coasters I'd ever made.  There doesn't seem to be any shortage of leather coasters available on Etsy these days, but it seemed all the ones that were part of a set were from the Tandy kit.  While the Tandy kit is probably perfectly dandy, it seemed more interesting to me to develop my own case for my coasters and that's what I did.  A bit of brainstorming, a dash of drafting on the computer, and a few paper prototypes to get the sizing right and bing-o!  Perfectly fitted cases using a minimal amount of material.


While I was changing up the norm I figured I'd experiment with some different tooling patterns.  Rather than having five identical coasters I figured it'd be interesting for each coaster to have a different pattern.  If nothing else it seems like it'd help keep track of who's cup was who's.

Each of the coasters and cases were treated with an antiquing gel.  One set received the Dark Brown treatment and the other set received the Mahogany color.  The treatment method was pretty much identical from coaster to coaster and the cases but I couldn't help but notice the Mahogany treated cases turned out far more "purple" than the coasters.  It just goes to show that every hide of leather is just a bit different.
Of course, the dragons all had to be painted to be properly given their dragonly due.  After that came a few thick coats of finish to make each coaster as shiny, and water resistant, as possible.
The final coup de grace was a double loop lace around the border of each coaster.  Aside from just looking nicer this helps the coaster hold onto the surface its sitting on.  I'd imagine it might help hold on to wayward liquids as well, but I haven't really tested that.  The first two sets used a nice supple calf lace that I tend to use for most of my lacing but the dragons seemed like they could use a beefier latigo lace.  It works pretty well for them I think but I had to go to a single loop to make the thicker lacing work.  I'd originally alloted myself 3 days to complete the entire build but that was before I remembered how time intensive lacing can be.  It took me 6 days to finish tooling, staining, painting, and lacing all 15 coasters. I'm pretty content that the time was well spent though.
























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