Embossed/Debossed Leather sample
Earlier this week Eva Sherman posted week #43 of her "Year of Jewelry Projects". I have been a big fan of watching these mostly fold-formed pieces being created throughout the year, but something about this one really inspired me. I loved the organic texture on the refined rectangle shapes.
I immediately envisioned creating an embossed leather version, probably because I had just finished proofing the galleys of my new leather jewelry book and was enjoying perusing the book The Surface Texture Bible. In fact, I bought two of these books at my local book clearance store, so leave a comment below and I'll draw a name and send the second copy out as a prize!
Leave a comment below and
you may win this book!
you may win this book!
The first thing that came to mind was a project I did with my daughter's kindergarten class in which we laid down wax colored string (also known as Bendaroos or Bendy Sticks) onto a wood frame and then did paper maiche over them. I mulled over gluing down string or using hot glue, but the wax string method seemed the least messy, the most flexible and was a technique I was familiar with.
My poor kids. They are getting used to hearing, "Hey everyone, put on your shoes, we are running up to Michael's." So off we went, and although no longer carried at Michaels, the wax string was found at the adjacent party store.
A step-by-step of how I created the embossed/debossed leather (can't decide which it is technically) is below. I had intended to cut the leather into rectangles, paint them and connect them together in the same fashion as Eva's piece. However, I found that I am really drawn to this piece of leather and its texture and am going to sit it aside and play with its use in my brain for a while.
1. Lay the waxed string across the backside of a piece of 2-4 ounce vegetable tanned leather. Press firmly to keep the string in place.
3. Use dapping punches, chasing tools or leather modeling tools to press the leather down into the recesses. You will need to go over the sections several times as the leather will keep pulling from its neighboring recesses as you stretch it. I found that pressing on both sides of the string helped stretch the leather evenly.
4. Glue and wet the next 1/4 section and repeat.
5. When I finally do a finished project, I will need to determine how I will deal with the cut edges. I will likely pull the leather up, trim the string and glue the leather back down flat. I'm also curious to see if the wax migrates to the surface of the leather and stains it. This will cause blemishes if I use a water-based dye or may prevent adhesion if I use an acrylic leather paint. I'll share the results when I get there!
I know I still owe you a post on how to create line art from paintings (see my last blog post). I recently took apart my etching tank for a good cleaning an once I get it back together I will get on it. It's a fun exercise and I look forward to sharing it.
Thanks for stopping by. Create Recklessly this weekend!
PS - Stop by my daughter's new blog "Diary of a Cursed Brother" and see her new project. November is National Novel Writing Month and it is a great time to get writing!