Well, I've been nipping in and out of my shed a lot lately, whenever I get the chance, even if it's just to do a bit of dyeing or tidy my bench as the daylight is so precious at this time of year. It's also so flippin cold in my shed and working on a slab of granite is VERY cold work!! I've been bringing pieces of half-finished work into the caravan wherever I can to warm them up a bit and let the dye dry thoroughly. So, on one wet, wild day, I wasn't too unhappy to be seated in the warm with various copies of Horse & Hound and Racing Post around me for inspiration, sketching horse's heads! These are the ones that I was happy with and that should translate well onto leather.
I'm working on an organiser with a horse head design at the front and will hopefully have it in my shop in the next day or two. At least the lacing round the edges can be done from the warmth of the caravan too!
I also had a commission for a belt to make for a lovely customer. The flowers were drawn freehand first and then I carved them out with my trusty little swivel knife. (not easy to carve AND photograph at the same time, so excuse the blurring!)
Once carved, I could set to work with my modelling and beveling tools, trying to create the details of petals and seeds and a feeling of 3D. And then I did something that I haven't done for years!! I reached for the black leather dye!!
I normally shy away from black as I worry that it doesn't show off the designs as well as antique brown does, but actually, I like the black a lot! After lots of waxing and buffing up, the belt is all ready and I can't wait to give it to it's new owner!
For some time now, I have been thinking of carving a horse's head into leather. It's been a long time since I sat down with my art bag as drawing has been replaced by sewing and leathercraft over the years, but I spent most of my childhood drawing horses!! I've been trying out different angles and styles and finally settled on an Arab head because they are just such beautiful, graceful animals and have very distinctive features which I thought would look good when carved into leather.
Here is my horse sketch, carved into the leather! Since taking this photo, I have dyed the leather and I'm just waiting for it to completely dry so I can apply the wax and get polishing. This will be a leather organiser when it's all ready!
This is a sample piece that I did to see how the design would work on leather. I must have been pleased with it as I've added my initials!!